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Title: Grammar of the New Zealand language (2nd edition)

Author: Robert Maunsell

Release date: February 14, 2014 [eBook #44897]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Heiko Evermann, Chris Pinfield and the Online
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Transcriber's Note:

A macron (e. g. "ā") indicates a long vowel and a breve (e. g. "ă") indicates a short vowel.

Various notes and remarks of less importance to a beginner are set in smaller type: c. f. the last paragraph of the Preface to the First Edition.

There are minor inconsistencies beween the sections listed in the Table of Contents and those in the text itself.

Inconsistent hyphenation has been retained. Apparent errors of punctuation, capitals and italics, that are inconsistent with the sense of the text, have been corrected.

Apparent errors or obscure type affecting Maori or English spelling have also been corrected. Maori corrections are listed at the end of the text.







The first edition of this Grammar having been for many years exhausted, and a considerable demand for some means of acquiring an accurate knowledge of the Maori language having recently arisen, the author has been induced to republish the work with such alterations as the attention which he has in the meantime given to the subject, during long labours of translation, has caused him to deem advisable.

Amongst the principal of these alterations is the omission of many passages exhibiting extreme niceties of the language, which, although useful to the finished scholar, were thought to be scarcely necessary to the ordinary student, and were complained of as embarrassing to the beginner.

The author begs to express his acknowledgments to his friend Mr. Fenton, late Resident Magistrate of Waikato, and one of the few who have studied the language grammatically, for carrying the present work through the press.

Kohanga, Waikato, January, 1862.



Independently of minute and numerous subdivisions, it may, perhaps, be correct to state that there are spoken in this the northern island seven leading dialects, each more or less distinguished from the other—viz., 1st, the Rarawa, or that spoken to the northward of Kaitaia; 2nd, the Ngapuhi, or that spoken in that portion of the island as far south of Kaitaia as Point Rodney on the eastern coast, and Kaipara on the western; 3rd, the Waikato, or that spoken in the district lying between Point Rodney and Tauranga on the east, and Kaipara and Mokau on the west; 4th, that spoken in the Bay of Plenty; 5th, the dialect of the East Cape and its neighbourhood, in which, perhaps, may be included that of Rotorua, though in these two places many little differences might be detected; 6th, that spoken in the line of coast between Port Nicholson and {vi} Wanganui, though here, also, at least four distinct branches might be traced; 7th, and last, that spoken between Wanganui and Mokau. The dialect of Taupo may be, perhaps, considered a mixture of those of Rotorua and Waikato.

All these may be stated to bear to each other a remarkable radical affinity. Many words, it is true, may be found in one which are unknown in another; but the grammar of any will give a great insight into the texture of all.

The Waikato dialect is very generally known throughout the larger portion of the island. It has deeply tinctured that of Taupo, is well known at Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty, and has been carried to the summits of Taranaki by the multitudes whom its fierce warriors once dragged from thence in slavery, and whose chains have been since snapped by the power of the Gospel. Ngapuhi to the northward are well acquainted with it, from the number of slaves who had been fetched from thence by the warrior Hongi; and a little {vii} before his time it was carried to the neighbourhood of Port Nicholson by two large and distinct migrations—one by Ngatitoa, who were the original possessors of Kawhia, another by Ngatiraukawa, who formerly occupied Maungatautari, and as far as Taupo.

The four tribes also who now occupy the banks of the Thames resided, formerly, for a very long period, in Waikato, and, being sprung from the same stock, speak a language so similar that a critical ear can scarcely tell the difference between the dialects of the two people.[1]

The origin of this people,—what part of this island was first occupied,—whether it was not colonized by different migrations from different islands,—are points as yet buried in darkness.

That it was not occupied by merely one migration has ever been the opinion of {viii} the author since he heard of the different condition and habits of the people of the East Cape and those of Waikato. A survey of the different dialects will confirm the conjecture, and nowhere can we get a better illustration than at Taupo. For that magnificent lake, in the centre of the island, and the point of meeting for two parties, as they approach from either coast, presents also a remarkable diversity in the languages spoken on the eastern and western banks. On the eastern, the dialect corresponds closely with that of Rotorua, from which it is distant about a four days' journey; on the north-western, which is occupied by a remnant left by the Ngatiraukawa in their great migration to the southward, the dialect is remarkably similar to that spoken in Waikato.[2]

The points of similarity between the fundamental principles of the Hebrew language and those of Maori have been {ix} occasionally noticed: not, however, because the author entertains any opinion that the two languages can claim any direct relationship to each other. Upon this only would he insist, in reply to those who would bind him down to the model of some of the European grammars, that Maori, like Hebrew, is altogether different from those languages in structure; that every subject of scientific inquiry must have rules and an arrangement suited to its nature; and that, as it would be absurd to construct the English on the basis of the Latin, so would it be more out of course to think of finding in Maori declensions, conjugations, modes of comparison, &c., &c., as accurately defined, or conducted on the same principles, as those of languages so polished, and so adapted for expressing, as well the minutest varieties in thought, as the tenderest emotions of the feelings.

And here the author would acknowledge his obligations to Professor Lee for his theory of the Hebrew tenses. On no {x} other hypothesis can a satisfactory solution be given of the Maori tense.

The student is requested to notice that the remarks that are more suited to a beginner are printed in large type, and that matters which are of less importance to him are contained in the smaller. It will be, perhaps, most advisable for him to omit the perusal of the latter until he has mastered the former.

Waikato Heads, February, 1842.

[1]  Marutuahu, from Kawhia, is the great progenitor of the Thames tribes, and his name is often used to designate that people. Kawhia, we may add, is the place at which, according to the accounts of the people of Waikato, Taranaki, as well as those of Ngatiruanui, the early immigrants landed.

[2]  These remarks might also be extended to Rotorua lakes, on the north-western extremity also of which are residing another remnant of Ngatiraukawa, whose dialect is, as far as the author recollects, different from that spoken by Ngatiwakaane.



The letters of Maori 1
Of the sound of the Vowels 1-4
Of the Diphthongs 4-7
Homogeneous sounds, when they meet in a sentence 7
Of the Consonants 7-9
A table of peculiarities of pronunciation in the principal dialects 9
The Articles 10
Of the definite article te 10-12
Of its plural nga 12
Of the indefinite article he 12
Of te tahi when used as an article 12
Of the particle a 13
Nouns primitive and derivative 16
Compound words 17
Verbal nouns 17-18
Proper names 18-19
Gender of nouns 19-20
Number of nouns 21
Of the postfix ma 21
Reduplication of nouns 21
Cases of nouns 22
Their gender, number, and case 23
Reduplication of 23
Of the cardinals 24
Their prefixes 24
Their manner of combination, &c. 25
Prefixes for denoting
——persons 26
——distribution 26
——fractions of length 26
Three ways for denoting them 26
Of the personal pronouns 27-29
Of the possessive pronouns 29
Of the relative pronouns 29-30
Of the demonstrative pronouns 30-31
Of nei, na, and ra 30
Of the interrogative pronouns 31
Mode of supplying the defect of distributive pronouns 32
Of the indefinite pronouns 32-33
Verbs primitive, derivative, and compound 34-35
Mood 35-36
Tense 36-38
Imperative mood 39-42
Paradigm of tense in simple sentences 42-52
Passive voice (table of examples) 48
——remarks on 49
Verbal nouns (their formation) 51-52
Neuter verbs 52
Participial adjectives 53
List of prepositions 55-56
Remarks on them 56-64
Proper meaning of na, ma, &c. 64-72
Primitive and derivative adverbs 73-74
Classification and list of adverbs and adverbial expressions 74-86
Atu, mai, ake, iho, ai, ano, ra, koa, u, hoki, kau 87-94
Of the conjunctions 95-98
Of the interjections 99-101
Preliminary Remarks.
Terms explained 102
Complex and incomplex propositions 103
Remarks on the general features of Maori 103-104
Epanorthosis 104-105
Ko an article 106
Its peculiar features 106-109
The omission of the article 109
He and te tahi 109-110
The particle a 110-111
Nouns in apposition 112
Article prefixed to them 112
Preposition 113
Exceptions 113-114
Clauses in epanorthosis, irregularity of 114
The answer to a question, construction of 114-115
Possessive Case denotes
——Intensity 115
——Date of an act 115
——Useful in predication 115
——Used instead of other cases 116
——Position of, when the governing word is twice repeated 116
——Governing word often omitted 116
Material, or quality, of a thing how denoted by a substantive 116-117
The form of the substantive often used for that of the adjective 117
Objective Case.
——position of 117-118
How compound words govern others 118
Kai prefixed to a verb 118
Te prefixed to proper names 118
Ngati and rangi 118
O and A, distinction between 118-120
Position of adjectives 121
Verbal adjectives 121
Exceptions 121-122
Many adjectives to one substantive 122
One adjective to two or more substantives 122-123
Of the forms occasionally assumed by the adjective 123
Comparison of adjectives 123-125
Particles prefixed to numerals 126-127
Case following 127
Position of numeral 127
Repetition of numeral 127-128
Tua and whaka as numeral prefixes 128-129
Position of pronouns 130
Often omitted 130-131
Singular and dual often denote a tribe 131
——Other uses of 131
A Pronoun in the singular will refer to a noun in the plural 131
——in the third person will refer to the first or second person 131-132
——used for the conjunction and 132
The noun belonging to the pronoun often omitted 132
Relative Pronouns, the substitutes for them 132-133
Demonstrative Pronouns.
——useful as auxiliaries 133
——other peculiarities of 133-134
Nei, na, and ra 134
Interrogative Pronouns (strange use of) 134-135
The Verbal Particles.
E 136-137
Ana 137
E—ana 138
Ka 138-139
I 139
Kua 139-142
Kia 143-144
Kia and ki te, distinction between 144
Sometimes no verbal particle prefixed 144-145
Ai, as used in connexion with the verb 145-147
Whaka, uses of 147-149
Adverbs as auxiliaries 149
Defect of substantive verb, how supplied 149-150
Prepositions as auxiliaries 150
Tendency of Maori verb to assume the form of a substantive 150-152
The finite verb may follow the oblique case 152
Predication performed by the possessive case 152-155
Compound tenses 155
Other circumstances which affect the time or voice of a verb 155-159
Verbs associated to qualify each other 159
Repetition of verbs 159
——of other words 159-160
Passive verbs, use of 160
Sometimes supplanted by the active 160-162
Neuter verbs which assume the passive form 162





A.        a as in fall fat.
E. e as a in acorn.
H. ha.
I. i as i in French or ee in sleep.
K. ka.
M. ma.
N. na.
O. o.
P. pa.
R. ra.
T. ta.
U. u.
W. wa.
NG. nga.



Has three sounds; the slender, somewhat broader, and the full broad sound.

1. The slender, as in hat, pat.

2. The somewhat broader; as in mar, far, father.

3. The full broad; as in wall, hall, &c.

{2} The following is a list of words classified under these heads:

1. 2. 3.
patu, to strike. patu, partition of a house.
mătua, a father. mātua, fathers. whana, to kick.
mărama, the moon. mārama, tight. wahi, a place.
taki, to drag a canoe in water. taki, take from the fire. whaki, to confess.
matenga, death. matenga, head. ware, a plebeian.
tăringa, ear. tāringa, waiting for.
păkaru, broken. pākarua, v. p. broken.
pakeke, hard. pakeke, to creak.
tăngata, a man.   .....  ..... tāngata, men.
tahu, to burn. tahuhu, a ridgepole. whare, a house.

The second and third head differ but little from each other, and it sometimes may be difficult to decide under which of the two the sound should be classed.

The reader is requested to notice that the distinctions above made, are not founded so much on the length of the sound, as on the differences of the sounds themselves. If the length of the sound be considered, other classes, (at least two,) might easily be established; but the learner would, we fear, be more perplexed than benefitted by the addition.

The speaker should remember that in some compound words the last syllable of the first word, if it end in a, is pronounced strong; e. g.

Note.—There are exceptions to this rule which it would be well for the student of observation to notice.

{3} In pronouncing such words as kata, mata, tata, the speaker must be careful not to slur over the first a, as if it were keta, meta, &c. It should be pronounced clearly and distinctly.


Is pronounced as a in bate, hate, &c., only not quite so slow, or so broad. Perhaps the final e in the French words café, felicité, would be a closer resemblance; e. g., koe, rea, re, kete, mate, tenei, rere.

(2.) As e in poetical, there; e. g., tena, renga-renga, kete, rere.

Few sounds in Maori are more frequently mis-pronounced by foreigners than e. Tohe, ngare, kumea, hoea mai te waka, te reinga, te rangi, rewera, korero, have been all so carelessly pronounced as to sound to the native ear as if spelt, tohi, ngari, kumia, hoia mai ti waka, to reinga, to rangi, Rewara, kororo. The reader should also be careful not to give e the dipthongal sound of ei; as in ne the interrogative particle, &c.


I is pronounced like the French i; as ee in sleep, green, &c.; when distinctly and fully pronounced it imparts much melodiousness to the sentence; e. g. ariki, kīki, to chatter, &c.

In the following it has a shorter sound: kĭki, crowded; mĭti, tĭti, &c.

N. B.—The speaker should be careful not to confound i with the Maori e; as in such words as wakatoi, hoi, &c.


Has a long and a short sound, a long; as toto, to drag.

A short; as toto, blood.

N. B.—We have no sound in Maori to correspond to the o in not, hot, pot, &c.


This sound is also uniform in kind, and always corresponds to oo in book, &c. It sometimes, however, experiences a more quick, sometimes a more slow pronunciation.

The following table exhibits two variations beginning with the shorter:—

1. 2.
tŭri, a knee. tŭtū, disobedient.
tŭtŭ, same as tupakihi of Ngapuhi. tūtū (manu), a birdstand.
kŭkŭ, a shell. kūkū, a pigeon.
kŭhu. tūtūa.
ŭtŭ, to pay. ūtu, to draw water.

In pronouncing u the speaker will have to guard against the error of those who prefix the aspirate when no aspirate is admissible. According to them u, utu, &c., are pronounced as if spelt hu, hutu.

He will also have to beware of the more common and stubborn error of giving u the dipthongal sound of u in cube, tube, mute, &c.—tonu, ketu, tonutia, are, in this way, pronounced as if spelt toniu, toniutia, ketiu.

U, again, is sometimes, by careless speakers, confounded with o, and vice versâ. Thus ihu, nose; niho, tooth; have been erroneously pronounced as if spelt iho, nihu.


This portion of Maori literature has been as yet but little explored; and as each person's notions will vary with the acuteness of his ear, and the extent to which his judgment has been exercised, we may be prepared to expect a considerable discrepancy of opinion.

{5} We shall therefore proceed with caution, and offer only what may be most useful, and most necessary for the student.

The field of discussion may be much limited if we first define what we mean by the word "dipthong."

The best definition we can find, and the one most suited to the nature of the dipthong, is, we think, that of Mr Smith, in Walker. "A dipthong," he says, "I would define to be two simple vocal sounds uttered by one and the same emission of breath, and joined in such a manner that each loses a portion of its natural length; but from the junction produceth a compound sound equal in the time of pronouncing to either of them taken separately, and so making still but one syllable."

Following this definition, three tests for a dipthong suggest themselves.

1. The emission of the two sounds by the same breath.

2. Their amalgamation, or more correctly, their coalescing; for each vowel in the Maori dipthong is distinctly heard.

3. The abbreviation of the natural length of each simple sound.

In applying these rules to the dipthongs, it will be perhaps most prudent to divide them, under the present imperfect state of our knowledge, into two classes. 1. The certain, or those of the dipthongal character of which there can be but little question. 2. The doubtful, or those upon which inquirers may be likely to entertain different opinions.

The dipthongs which we consider certain, are as follows:

On these we will offer a few remarks.

Those dipthongs which are formed by a double letter, such as aa, are distinguished by a stronger and fuller sound; as in Wakaaro, rapuutu, &c.


Is a sound for which it is difficult to find a parallel in English, and which most speakers confound with ai in such words as waewae, waeroa, paewae, &c.

The English aye comes perhaps closer to it. It must be pronounced broad and open, and care must be taken to keep out the squeezed sound of the i.


May be well represented by the i in shine.


Has no representative in English that we are aware of. In pronouncing it, the speaker must be careful to let the o be distinctly, but not too prominently, heard; and considerable care will be required to keep it distinct from au in the following words, as otawhao, whawhao, tao, hao, &c.: neither again must the speaker divide the dipthong into two syllables, as some speakers do in otaota, &c.


May be pronounced like ou in drought, trout, pound, &c.


May be represented by the ai in hail, pail, &c. Care must be taken not to suppress altogether the i, as is sometimes done in such words as tenei, penei, &c.


Is a sound of some difficulty. There is no sound that we are aware of in the English language that exactly corresponds to it. Low, sow, mow, &c., may be made to resemble it, by pronouncing them slowly, and letting the sound die away into u.

Most foreigners are apt to pronounce it as a simple o. The first syllable of koutou is one of very difficult pronunciation.{7} Without great care it will be variously pronounced, as if koitou, kotou, or kutu.

By not attending to these distinctions the speaker will often lose the benefit of a good thought. A speaker, guarding his hearers against spiritual temptations, borrowed his illustration from a poukaka (the perch for the parrot by which it is caught,) telling them that Satan often presents poukakas to attract them to ruin; unfortunately, however, instead of poukaka he used pokaka, a squall of wind and rain, and only expressed his point by exciting their risibility.

The doubtful class of dipthongs are au, (as in mau, for thee, tau, thy,) ai, (as in maia, brave) ea, eo, eu, io, iu.

On these we do not wish at present to make many observations. We believe that there is a considerable difference amongst Maori speakers respecting them. Our own idea is, that there may be a few occasions on which some might be considered dipthongs; and that those occasions are, the position of the syllable, whether at the end of the word, or elsewhere, as also whether it come under the influence of the accent.

We cannot dismiss this subject without mentioning two particulars, very necessary to be remembered by all who wish to attain to an accurate pronunciation of Maori. First, as it is in English, every sentence is to be pronounced as if one word. 2. Homogeneous vowels will, when they meet, almost always run into a dipthong.

The following sentence, koia i whiriwhiria ai e ia to ratou uri, would be thus pronounced by a native, koiai-whiri-whiriai-eia-to-ratouri. Koia ia i riri ai would run, koiai-aiririai.

This subject of homogeneous vowels coalescing into dipthongs, is one which has not received the attention it merits.



This is the same as the English h.

It is not however known on the western coast of New Zealand to the southward of Mokau, in the district of Taranaki. Its place is supplied by a curious stammer or jirk of the voice. A gentle sibilancy accompanies its pronunciation amongst Ngapuhi, which some speakers erroneously confound with sh.


K has the sound of the English k; as in kill, &c.

M. N. P.

M, N, P, have the same sound as in English.


R has two sounds: (1) rough; as in rain, river, &c.; e. g., kahore, rorea, roro, roto.

(2) The second is more soft, and is formed by a gentle jar of the tongue against the palate; so gentle indeed is the vibration, that most foreigners pronounce it like d or l, as in raro, ruru, rimu, pouaru, pari, muri, mariri, koiri, korikori, kouru, maru.


This is a letter which few Europeans pronounce correctly. It is not pronounced like the t in temper, tea, &c.; but rather like the sharp th of apathy, sympathy, Athens, apothecary. Those who watch a native's tongue while pronouncing this letter, will find that the rule for attaining this sound is, to apply the tongue, not to the root, but to the top of the teeth, and hardly emit a.


Has two sounds, one simple, as that in wind, &c., e. g., wai, water, waka, a canoe, ware, a plebeian.

2. An aspirated w, as in when, where, &c.; whai, follow, whare, a house, &c.


The speaker should be careful, in uttering this sound not to separate the n from the g, as is sometimes done by foreigners. The n and g intimately coalesce, and those who have learned to pronounce the French encore will find no difficulty in catching it. The following rule will, we trust, help the beginner.

{9} Press the middle of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, near the throat, and simultaneously relax the pressure, and pronounce na. Of course care must be taken that the tip of the tongue does not touch the palate.[3]

Following is a table setting forth a few of the variations in pronunciation of the leading dialects of New Zealand.

It will be observed that the name of a place is employed to denote the dialect for which that place and its vicinity are remarkable.

Keri Keri Kari Kari Kari
Tatou Tatou Tatau Tatau Tatou & Tatau Tatou
Matou Matou Matau Matau Matou & Matau Matou
Ratou Ratou Ratau Ratau Ratou & Ratau Ratou
Koro & Korua Korua
Koutou Koutou Koutau Koutau Koutou & Koutau Kotou
Taua or Tao Taua Taua Taua
Maua or Mao Maua Maua Maua
Raua or Rao Raua Raua Roua
Hei Hei Hai Hai Hai & Hei Ei
Kei Kei Kai Kai Kai & Kei Kei
Tutei Tutai Tutai Tutai Tutai Tutei
Wha Wa
Maoa Maia Maoa Maia & Maoa
Hohou Whawhau Hohou & Whawhua O-ou
Teina Teina Taina Taina Teina Teina
Tarai Tarai Tarei Tarei Tarai
Heoi Heoti Heoti Eoi & Eoti
Kua Kua Koua Kua & Koua Ku
Kia Kia Kia Kia Kia Ki
Horo Hohoro O-oro
Topa Tao Tao Tao
Roa Ro
Tonu Tonu Tou

See also the letters ng and h.

[3]  This sound is not known in the Bay of Plenty. Its place is supplied by a simple n, further southward by k.



§ 1. The articles in Maori are as follows:—

(a.) The definite article te and its plural nga; e. g.

(b.) The indefinite articles he, tetahi, and its plural etahi; e. g.

(c.) The arthritic particles a and ko; e. g.

§ 2. Te is not so uniformly definite as the English the; being sometimes used;

(a.) Where no article would be employed in English, i. e., in cases where the noun is taken in its widest sense; e. g.

(b.) Sometimes it is employed instead of the English a; e. g.

(c.) Sometimes it is used instead of the pronoun some; e. g.

(d.) It is employed for many other purposes which the English the does not recognize. We shall only mention the following;

Note.—It has been asserted that te is sometimes used in the plural number, as in the preceding example, "te kaipuke," and in the following; te tini o te tangata, many men; ka reka te pititi, peaches are sweet.

We are more inclined to think that we have, in these examples, the operation of a figure of frequent occurrence in Maori, viz., synecdoche, and that one of a class is made to represent a whole class.

Expressions of this kind are common in English, without involving the plural number of the article; e. g., the fruit of the tree, a great many, a few men, &c. Bishop Lowth's remarks on these instances are quite to the point.

"The reason of it, he says, is manifest from the effect which the article has in these phrases; it means a small or great number, collectively taken, and therefore gives the idea of a whole, that is, of unity. Thus likewise, a hundred, a thousand is one whole number, an aggregate of many collectively taken; and therefore still retains the article a, though joined as an adjective to a plural substantive; as, a hundred years."

(e.) Lastly, te is sometimes employed before proper names; e. g.

Note 1.—To define the rule by which the article is prefixed or omitted before proper names is a work of some difficulty, usage being very irregular.

Note 2.—Sometimes te is blended with o into one word; as in the following example: ki to Hone ware, to the house of John, instead of ki te whare o Hone.


Note 3.—The student should be careful, in speaking, to distinguish between the article te, and the negative particle te. The latter should always be pronounced more distinctly and forcibly than the article.

§ 3. Nga may with strict propriety be called the plural of the definite article. There are a few exceptions, or rather slight variations, which we do not think it necessary to mention.

§ 4. He varies in some respects in its uses from the English a.

(a.) It is used sometimes where no article would be employed in English; e. g.

(b.) It is occasionally used in the same sense as some in English, e. g.,

(c.) It is used in the plural number, e. g.

§ 5. A great many uses of the indefinite article are shared by he with te tahi. We shall mention here a few of them.

N.B.—Te tahi exactly corresponds with the definition given by Bishop Lowth of the English article a. "It determines it (the thing spoken of) to be one single thing of the kind, leaving it still uncertain which." A similar use of the numeral one we find in French, sometimes in Hebrew, and more than once in the New Testament; (vid. Mat. xxi. 19, and Mark xiv. 51.)

We need not look abroad for parallel instances; our indefinite article an being, as every etymologist is aware, the Saxon article, which signifies one.

(b.) Etahi may be considered as corresponding to the partitive article des of the French. It determines the {13}things spoken of to be any number of things of the kind, leaving it uncertain how many, or which, of the things they are. It closely resembles the adjective some of English, and we enumerate it here among the articles because it only differs from te tahi (which is clearly an article) in being its plural; e. g.

§ 6. A[4] is a regular attendant on the personal pronouns; e. g.

(b.) It is also the article by which the names of individuals and tribes are always preceded; e. g.

Note 1.—When the particle ko is prefixed to either the proper name, or the pronoun, a is omitted; e. g.

(2) It is also omitted after the prepositions e, ma, mo, no, na, o, a. The prepositions with which it is retained are i, ki, kei, and their compounds—i runga i, &c.; e. g.

Note 2.—Europeans who have not made the language a study, often very incorrectly substitute e for a before a proper name; e. g., they will say, kei hea e te Waru, where is te Waru, and again kua {14} tae mai e Nanaia, Nanaia has arrived. E, as we shall show hereafter, is the sign of the vocative case. A is omitted before such words as the following, kei nga Pakeha, kei nga Maori, &c.

Note 3.A is sometimes in Waikato prefixed to appellatives; e. g. ki a tuahangata, a papa, a kara.

(c.) A is also prefixed to the names of places, and to prepositions, and adverbs which have assumed the form of substantives, when in the nominative case; e. g.

Note.—Sometimes a is prefixed to the name of the place when the people of the place, and not the place itself, are intended; e. g. ka mate i a Waikato, will be killed by Waikato.

Some speakers are often guilty of solecisms from not remembering that a is not prefixed to any of the oblique cases of the names of places. Thus we heard some old residents in the land say, Haere ki a Pokuru, Go to Pokuru. Haere ki a Waitemata, Go to Waitemata. According to this form Pokuru, and Waitemata are not places, but persons.

(d.) A is always prefixed to any inanimate thing to which a name has been given; i. e. to trees, canoes, ships, boats, meres,[5] guns, &c.; e. g.

Note.—Stars also come under the operation of this rule, e. g.

Houses, Caves, and such like, are regulated by rule (c), e. g.

If the above rules be correct—and we are persuaded that the candid inquirer will assent to them, the following remarks may, perhaps, be worthy the consideration of our Missionary brethren.

1st. We think that we are distinctly warranted by the analogy of the language to treat the books of the Old and New Testaments as proper names, and prefix a to them; as in the following examples, kei a Kenehi, kei a Roma. Such portions however, as the Psalms, the Law, the Acts, the Revelations, &c., might, we think, be most safely considered as appellatives. Such an usage has obtained in English, and will not, we believe, be thought a novelty in Maori, by any one who attends to such sentences as the following:

2. The following sentences are incorrect:

N.B.—The speaker should distinguish between the article, and the preposition a; as in the following sentence:

The preposition a in these elliptical sentences should always be pronounced peculiarly strong.

He should also note the following;

[4]  Some perhaps may object to our regarding a as an article, and may remind us of the definition that an article is "a word prefixed to substantives to point them out, and show how far their signification extends." This however is to make rules precede investigation, and our reply is, that if Bishop Lowth, from whom this definition is derived, had been writing on the Greek article, he would, most probably, have never given such a definition. Every scholar is aware of the disputes that have been agitated among the learned respecting the uses of this article, and that some have even maintained "that its use is guided by no rule at all." The fact is, every language has its peculiarities, and it would be absurd to maintain that because any given part of speech has certain powers in one language, it must have the same in another.

We denominate this article arthritic, because it is, as the Greeks would say, an arthron, a limb of the word to which it is prefixed, though it in no way defines the extent of its signification; unless perhaps we consider that, by its denoting the word to be either a pronoun, a proper name, &c., it thus, in a certain measure, restricts its application, and thus accords with the definition which some writers would give of the article; viz., "an index to the noun."

[5]  The mere is a native weapon for war made of the axe stone. It is an article of great value, and descends from father as an oha, an heirloom in the tribe.

[6]  Tawera is the morning star.

[7]  This star makes his appearance about the month of June, in the first month of the New Zealander, and creates an important epoch in his agricultural operations.




Nouns in Maori may be comprised under three classes, primitive and derivative, and verbal.[8]

(a.) Nouns primitive are those which designate animals, plants, numbers, members of the animal body, some of the great objects of the natural world.

N.B.—It is often impossible to distinguish between primitive and derivative nouns.

(b.) Nouns derivative, which are altogether the most numerous, comprise,

1st. Nouns derived from verbs, i. e., the verb, in its simple form, used as a noun; e. g.,

(2.) Nouns derived from adjectives; e. g.,

(3.) Nouns derived from adverbs and prepositions, e. g.

(4.) Compound Words. These are always formed by two words placed in immediate juxta-position, without any elision of either; e. g.

(c.) Verbal nouns are well worthy of the attention of the critical student. They are of very extensive uses in Maori, and a proper introduction of them will give animation and elegance to the sentence. The rules for their formation will be found hereafter. See verbs.

They are generally employed to denote time, place, object, means, or some accompaniment on, or relation of {18}the act, or quality of the ground form.—Other uses of them will be mentioned in the syntax.

To set forth the various uses of the verbal noun here would carry us beyond our limits. We shall therefore only give a few examples;—sufficient, however, we trust to lead the critical student into more extensive inquiry;

Note.—Instances will sometimes occur in which the simple root, or the verbal form, may be indifferently used in the sentence. The critical student, however, will generally be able to see the reason; e. g., te here o tona hu, the thong of his shoe; te herenga o tona hu, the holes, &c., by which the thong is fastened.

Proper Names should, perhaps, have been classed under the head of derivative nouns.

They are epithets arbitrarily assumed, as among the Hebrews, from some circumstance, quality, act, or thing. Sometimes they are simple; e. g., ko te Tawa, Tawa (a tree). Sometimes compound; e. g., Tangikai, cry {19}for food. They are generally known by a prefixed; when a is not prefixed, by the context.

Note.—Sometimes we meet with English appellatives employed as appellatives in Maori, but with the form peculiar to proper names; e. g., a mata, the mistress; a pepi, the baby; a tekawana, the governor. These, however, must be regarded as solecisms, and as in no way supported by Maori analogy.[9]

We sometimes also meet with a Maori proper name employed as an appellative; i. e., If an individual of a particular district has been remarkable for any quality, his name will often be predicated of any other in whom the same feature of character is discernible: thus, Ropeti, of Waikato, was remarkable for making a great show of hospitality:—hence, to any person else who has been detected acting in a similar way, it will be said, Ko Ropeti, There is Ropeti.

As all these terms are necessarily limited in their use to a particular district, we need not notice them further.


Maori, we may premise, admits of no such thing as declension by inflection, i. e., by a variation of the ground form. All the relations, it is capable of expressing, are denoted by words, or particles, prefixed or post-fixed to the noun.

Gender of Nouns.—Distinctions of gender are but seldom recognized in Maori. Only two are ever noticed, viz., the masculine and feminine. These are always expressed by different words, e. g.

Matua }
  or father Whaea, mother.
Tamaiti } Tamahine }
  or son.   or daughter.
Tamaroa Kotiro
Tungane, brother of a female. Tuahine, sister of a man.{20}
Autane, brother-in-law of a female. Auwahine, sister-in-law of the man.
Tangata, man. Wahine, woman.
Koroheke, old man. Ruruhi, old woman.
Tourahi and Toa, male of brute animals. Uwha, female of brutes.
Tane, a male, mostly of the human species. Wahine, female.

In salutation, the sex of the person is almost always denoted by the address, e. g.,

To the man. To the female.
E hoa, friend! { Eh kui }
E pa, —— to the married woman.
E mara, —— Eh tai
E koro, ——
E kara, —— { E ko }
E Ta, —— to the girl.
E Hiko, —— Eh Hine

Note 1.—It should, however, be noted that these modes of address will vary in different Districts. Thus in Waikato E Tai and E ko are often addressed to the male, and E kui to the girl—again also, tane and wahine will be often found applied to the brute creation, and tourahi, in Waikato, is most frequently applied to the gelding.

Note 2.—The speaker should notice that the relationship of individuals of the same sex is designated by the same terms as the corresponding ones of the opposite sex; e. g.,

  John's   Mary's
elder brother, is Tuakana.   elder sister, is Tuakana.
younger brother,   teina. younger sister,   teina.
brother-in-law,   taokete. sister-in-law,   taokete.

The distinction of sex in the other branches, is generally designated by tane and wahine postfixed to the relation; e. g.,

{21}Number.—Substantives in Maori have two numbers, singular and plural.

The singular is known by the singular articles te, and tetahi, or by one of the singular pronouns connected with the noun; e. g.

The plural is known by (1) nga, e tahi, or (2) one of the plural or dual pronouns preceding the noun; e. g.

(3.) Sometimes the plural is designated by o, without te preceding the noun; e. g.

(4.) In a few cases we meet with an alteration in the ground form; e. g.,

(5.) In some trissyllables, the first syllable of the plural is pronounced long; as in matua, tupuna, wahine, tangata.

Note.—Examples of these two latter heads are not of frequent occurrence.

(6.) We frequently meet with ma joined to the proper name, in a sense corresponding to hoi amphi, and hoi peri in Greek, to denote the person and his company: e. g.,

(7.) Sometimes also ma is in the same sense postfixed to appellatives; e. g.,

(8.) Sometimes an act oft repeated, or many things of the same kind are denoted by a reduplication of one or more syllables; e. g.,

{22}Case.—The distinction of case in Maori is exceedingly simple. As it is not the character of the language to decline either nouns or adjectives by a variation of the termination, it is evident that, in this respect, Maori is altogether different from Greek and Latin. Are we then to adopt the cases that those languages so clearly need? We are aware that some contend for them. But we are also assured that their adoption would be, not only useless but often exceedingly perplexing.

It is true that prepositions may be found in Maori, as well as in English, that correspond with the cases that are to be found in those languages. But that, we submit, is not the question. Our business, we conceive should be, to inquire how the dependence of words on each other is denoted in Maori, and then look out for a system that will meet, not a few selected cases, but all the various possible conditions.

Now, in Maori, the different connexions and relations of one thing to another are denoted by prepositions; there are upwards of twenty prepositions; and these are capable of being much increased in number by combination with each other; all having distinct meanings, different relations, and therefore distinct cases. Are all these then to be reduced to the six cases of Latin? Those who please may make the experiment with the following; kei runga i te pouaka, kei te kainga, ho atu ki a ia, me titiro atu ki a ia, patua ia ki te rakau, hei tua i te whare, &c.

The simple and comprehensive cases of Murray's English Grammar seem therefore the best adapted for Maori, though we will confess that our own judgment is against allowing any possessive case to Maori.

In English, it is true, that case may be recognised; because the ground form undergoes a change to denote it. Even in Hebrew, something analogous also might be admitted. But in Maori the possessive case is expressed, like all the other oblique cases, by a preposition. It may indeed be said, that in the pronouns we find a possessive formed by inflection. But this might justly be questioned: for it is very probable that noku, and naku, are compounds of no oku and na aku, and, when a native speaks slowly, it may be observed that he pronounces those words as if so spelt.

1. What is called the accusative case in Latin is most frequently denoted by i. This particle is different from the preposition i, and is only employed to denote the passing on of the action of the verb to the noun; e. g., Ko wai hei keri i te mara? who is to dig the field? (vid. prepositions i.)

2. The vocative case is always denoted by e; e. g., E Hone! O John!

[8]  We are aware that verbal nouns should properly have been classed under derivative; but as we shall often have to speak of them as a distinct class, and as moreover they closely resemble, in some respects, the participal form of the verb, and are very frequently used instead of the finite verb itself, we have consulted our convenience in thus distinguishing them.

[9]  It is true, that we have mentioned (Chap. II. § 6 notes) a few cases which might seem to warrant such a use. But those clearly belong to a different class.



Maori adjectives have no peculiar or appropriate form. They know no distinction of gender, number, case, or comparison.

In common with substantives, adjectives admit often of reduplication to denote repetition, or many things the same kind, &c.—vid. ch. 3, number § 8., e. g.

Note.—Comparison in Maori is formed by periphrasis, for which vid. S.



Numerals in Maori abound in distinctions that are not to be met with in other languages.

Tahi, one, has sometimes a form peculiar to itself, being prefixed by ko. All between tahi and tekau may be prefixed by e. All the simple numbers, i. e. all less than ten, will, when preceding the higher numbers, take their ordinary prefixes; e. g.

Numbers between ten and twenty are expressed by ten and unit; e. g.

Twenty, and all numbers between twenty and a hundred, may be expressed in two ways:

1st, (which is now the more general,) by a unit preceding ten; e. g., e ono tekau, (six tens) sixty; ka iwa tekau, ninety, &c.

2ndly, by hoko prefixed to the unit; e. g., hokorua twenty.

{25} Note.—The Maori mode of counting has always, heretofore, been by pairs: thus hokorua, twenty, stands for twenty pair, i. e. forty, and so on. When they wish it to be understood singly they postfix taki-taki to the numeral adjective; e. g., hokorua taki-taki, twenty. Sometimes topu, or pu, is postfixed to make it more clear that the double of the number is intended; e. g., e waru topu, (eight doubled) sixteen.

Ngahuru, with Ngapuhi, denotes ten, and tekau, eleven. In this, the central part of the island, as far as Taupo, ngahuru and tekau represent both of them ten.

In expressing a sum of tens and units, the smaller number follows ten or its multiple, and is connected with it by the numeral conjunction ma; e. g., thirty-four is denoted by "e toru tekau ma wha."

In expressing a sum of hundreds, with tens and units, the tens are postfixed to the hundreds without a ma intervening; e. g., 136 is expressed by "ko tahi rau, e toru tekau, ma ono."

A sum of thousands, hundreds, tens and units, is expressed in the same way, the particle ma only intervening between the ten and the unit; e. g., 1136 is expressed by "ko tahi mano, ko tahi rau, e toru tekau, ma ono."

Note.—It should be here noticed that this is the new mode of reckoning brought in by Europeans, and now fast spreading over the land. The old mode is not so convenient in calculation; but it is often heard; 240 would according to it, be thus expressed; Ko tahi rau ma rua, lit. one hundred and two. Two, here, stands for (twice ten) twenty doubled.

250 would run thus, ko tahi rau ma rua pu tautahi, one hundred and two double, and a tautahi, an odd one.

4900 would run thus; e rua mano ma wha, hokorima te tuma; two thousand, four hundred double, fifty double is the tuma, the excess.

For all beyond a thousand there is, we suspect, a considerable diversity in the nomenclature of different tribes. In Waikato and Taupo 10,000 double, (i. e., 20,000 according to our reckoning,) would be a tini, ten tini, (i. e., 100,000 double) would be indifferently called ngera, rea, hea. All beyond that would be denominated by a tini makehua, a tuaururi whaioio, (or maioio) a tini whakarere, &c.

{26}For denoting a number of persons less than ten, toko is generally prefixed to the numeral; e. g.,

For denoting distribution tātaki is prefixed to the numeral; kia tātaki rua pu nga utu i te tangata, let each man have four payments.

Note.—Tataki prefixed does not always denote distribution; e. g., Ka tataki-hia nga whakato o ta koutou mara? How many baskets (are these) that have been sown in your cultivation?

In measuring length, a fraction is denoted by huka; e. g.,

Ordinals.—The ordinal numbers are formed:

1. By tua prefixed to the cardinal; e. g., tua toru, third, tua iwa, ninth.

2. By whaka prefixed; e. g., whakatekau, tenth.

3. By the simple cardinal with the definite article, ko te wha tenei o aku haerenga mai, this is the fourth of my comings here; i. e., this is the fourth time I have come here.

[10]Whatianga corresponds to the ancient cubit—maro is what a man can measure with his extended arms.



The personal pronouns of Maori are as follows:

{ Taua, you and I
Ahau, or au, I.   Maua, he and I.
Koe, thou. Korua, you two.
Ia, he. Raua, they two.
{ Tatou, you all and myself.
Matou, they and myself.
Koutou, ye.
Ratou, they.

The first person dual and plural has, as may be seen in the above table, two forms, taua and tatou, maua and matou; the former class may be denominated inclusive, the latter exclusive. For example:

The speaker of a company, who is addressing a person just come in, uses matou; e tatari ana matou ki a koe, we are, or have been waiting for you. If he means that only himself and another have been waiting, he uses maua, e tatari ana maua kia a koe: but when he addresses the whole company he uses tatou; Tatou ki te kai, let us go to dinner. If however he is addressing only{28} another beside himself, he uses taua; Taua ki te kai, let us (two) go to dinner. Again, if he says, No matou tenei kainga, he tells you, the hearer, that he and others possess this farm. If he says, No maua tenei kainga, he tells you that he and some other person already mentioned possess it. If however he use tatou, No tatou tenei kainga, he means that all that he is addressing have a share in it. If he says, No taua tenei kainga, he tells you, the hearer, that it belongs to you and himself.

Note.—The student will find hereafter that the dual number is sometimes used for the plural.

In addressing an individual ia is sometimes used in the second person by Ngapuhi; e. g., E ia. It is used in a very strange combination also with wai by some tribes; e. g.,

The Personal Pronouns admit, in the singular, of declension; e. g.,

Nom. Ahau or Au, I.
Poss. Nau or Nou, thine.
Obj. Ahau, or Au (preceded by some preposition); e. g.,
  • Ki a au, or, ki ahau, to me,
  • E a hau, or, e au, by me,
  • Maku or Moku, for me.

Nom. Koe, thou.
Poss. Nau or Nou, thine.
Obj. Koe (preceded by some preposition); e. g.,
  • kei a koe, with thee.
Mau and Mou, for you.

Nom. Ia, he.
Poss. Nona, or Nana, his or hers.
{29}Obj. Ia (preceded by some preposition); e. g.,
  • I a ia, from him or from her.
Mona and Mana, for him, or for her.

Pronouns, in common with nouns, have no gender. There is no word in Maori to denote the pronoun it with its dual and plural. Their place is generally supplied by some artifice of the construction, as will be shewn in the Syntax.


As the possessive pronouns are closely connected with the personal, they may be mentioned next.

They are as follows:

Toku, or tāku, or tăku, my. Oku, āku, or ăku, my.
Tou, to, or tau, thy. Ou, o, au, thy.
Tona, tāna, or tăna, his. Ona, āna, ăna, his.

The other possessive pronouns are formed from the dual and plural of their respective pronouns by prefixing o; e. g.,

o { taua, } of us two. o { tatou, } our.
maua, matou,
o korua, of you two. o koutou, your.
o raua, of them two. o ratou, their.

Such words as himself, his own, my own, &c., are expressed in Maori by some adverb added in the sentence; e. g., Nona ake ano tona aroha ki a tatou, his love to us was his own; i. e., was self-derived.

The adverbs most usually employed for this purpose are ake, ano, noa, iho, tonu.


The next in order are the relative pronouns. For these there is no distinct form in Maori. Sometimes they are wholly omitted in the sentence; e. g.

{30}At other times their place is supplied by some artifice of the construction. Vid. S.


The demonstrative pronouns are as follows: Taua, tenei, tena, tera, and their respective plurals, aua, enei, ena, era.

Tenei and aua are used for that and those. Tenei is applied to the object nearest at hand, or to the point of discourse to which the speaker had last alluded; tena to an object near to, or connected with, you the person spoken to; tera to an object farther remote; e. g.,

The same distinction is to be observed in the plural number.

It may be questioned whether tenei and its branches are not, like to, (vid. article) compounded of two words, viz. te and nei, &c. They can always, at least, be resolved into them; e. g., Ho mai tena mea, give me that thing, is the same as ho mai te mea na. There is, however, a little difference in the uses of these two forms which the attentive student will discover by observation.

Nei, na, and ra, are mostly added (like the ci, and lá of French) to point at the object more forcibly.

When the speaker wishes to denote the object with familiarity, contempt, &c., he generally uses the resolved form; e. g., Ka hinga ahau i te wakatakariri ki te tangata nei, I fall with anger at the fellow here.

Sometimes we meet with nei and its branches twice repeated; e. g., tenei na, tera ra.

Nei, &c., are often used in asking questions; e. g., nei na? Is this it? Ra ra? Is that it?

Note.—The speaker should be careful in speaking not to confound this demi-pronoun with the interrogative particle Ne.

Sometimes we meet with ia used as a demonstrative, e. g.,

{31}NoteAnei, and ara are often used by Ngapuhi for enei and era.


The interrogative pronouns are wai, aha, tehea, and its plural ehea, kohea, and sometimes, (particularly in Waikato,) pehea.

Wai is applied (1) to persons, and (2) to animals or things, as canoes, ships, &c., to which the name of a man has been given, and is always the pronoun used in asking the question, What is his name? It is sometimes applied to countries, &c.; but, in such cases kohea is the pronoun most frequently used.

The following are examples of the uses of wai and kohea:

Note.—Wai will sometimes take the plural form by having ma postfixed; e. g., Ko wai ma ena? Who are they?

Aha is applied to everything in which kind is denoted; so also is pehea sometimes:


Note.—The above sentence decides the right of pehea to be considered a pronoun. Most of the compounds however of hea; such as, kohea, pehea, nohea, ihea, mohea, &c., ought most probably to be considered as belonging to the class of adverbs.

The student will find, as we proceed, that the lines of distinction between the various classes of pronoun, adverb, preposition, noun, verb and adjective, are frequently but faintly marked, and that the same word may be often noticed as standing in four or five different ranks.

Tehea, and its plural ehea, is applied to which of a number, and is used to denote persons, or things; e. g.,

Note.—Pronouns are sometimes employed to denote the time of the sentence, as will be seen hereafter. (vid. verbs.)


Each and every one, are expressed by the demonstrative or possessive pronoun, and the noun twice or thrice repeated; e. g.,


Some other and any, are most frequently denoted by te tahi, and its plural e tahi; sometimes also by the preposition i; (vid. prepositions.)

{33}Whatever, whatsoever, &c., are expressed in various ways; as may be seen in the following examples:

Ko nga mea katoa e mea ai koutou, or } whatever ye do, Col. 3, 17.
Ko nga aha noa &c. &c.



§ 1. Classification.—They may be distributed in

(a) Primitive, i. e., underived from other words; e. g.,

(b) Derivative, i. e. such as are derived from words of some other root; e. g.,

{35}This class is by far the most numerous. Under it also may be comprised

(1) Verbs formed by reduplication; e. g.

(2) Compound verbs, i. e. verbs formed from two or more words joined together; e. g.

Note.—As the same word is very frequently used in Maori as verb, substantive, adjective, and adverb, it is often impossible to determine under which of the above classes it should be ranked; neither, indeed, will it be necessary; as the origin of the verb in no way affects its grammatical relations.

§. 2. Number, Person, and Gender.—Maori verbs are not declined by inflection; i. e. by variation of the ground form; and therefore know nothing of number, person, and gender.

§. 3. Mood and Tense.—As neither the ground form, nor the auxiliary particles experience any variation from change of mood, we cannot recognize any grammatical form for denoting moods in Maori, and shall not therefore enter any farther into the subject at present.

Note 1.—The only variations we have been able to discover are

1st. Those for denoting the imperative mood.

2nd. The prefixing of the particle waka to the verb, and thus causing a Hiphil, or causative, conjugation. The prefixing of a conjunction cannot, we think, warrant the creation of a distinct form for the subjunctive mood.

Note 2.—As the business of the grammarian lies principally with the grammatical form of words, i. e., with those means with which a language is supplied for expressing the different varieties of thought, it is clear that no form is to be admitted under any head, which does not denote a meaning specifically belonging to that head. Thus, in the case of the Maori moods, we never, (as we sometimes do in English and other languages,) meet with a variation in form from the root, either in the case of the verb itself, or its auxiliaries; and we therefore consider that, grammatically speaking, we have no form for these moods.

{36}It is true, that in a logical point of view, i. e., when the signification alone is considered, a great many varieties both of mood and tense might be established. But this can never be admitted as the basis on which a grammar should be constructed; neither can any maxim be more true than that "equivalence in sense does not imply similarity in grammatical nature."

§. 4. Tense.—Maori abounds in a variety of forms for denoting modifications of time. They are designated by verbal particles, (vid. Note,) adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, and the articles he and te placed in connexion with the verb. The force of these, again, is, in a large majority of cases, determined by the context, and we believe ourselves to be correct in saying that there are, in this language, but few absolute forms for determining tense; for example:

Note.—The verbal particles are words which have no meaning in themselves, but which prefixed to a word, endue it with the qualities of a verb. They correspond to the auxiliary verbs of English, but do not admit of the same varieties of applications: neither can they lay claim to the rank of verb substantive. Thus in Maori we have no direct form for such phrases as the following, I am, you will, &c.

§. 5. They are as follows: e, ana, ha, kua, i, kia, hei, me, kaua, aua, and kei.

Their uses will be best ascertained by examining the paradigm at the end of this section. A more full consideration of them and of the other modes of construction, which are therein contained, will be deferred to the Syntax.

{37}As the voice of the verb but little affects its conjugation, we have not thought it necessary to make any separate head for the different voices; but have represented all in the one table.

The student, however, is recommended to read our remarks on the passive voice before he proceeds to examine into the tenses.

§. 6. It may be naturally expected that, in an unpolished language like Maori, there should not be much that is artificial, or complicated, in the arrangement of tenses. Such we believe to be the case. It is true that some would contend for as many tenses as may be found in English; but, independently of the improbability of such a thing, we believe that a careful investigation will lead the inquirer to the arrangement which we have adopted; viz. the present, the past, and the future.

It is true that other tenses may sometimes be met with which are accurately defined; but we cannot admit them a distinct place in the modifications of the simple verb; because such forms are always compound, or depend, at least, for their meaning upon the construction, and belong more properly to the syntax than to this part of the grammar.

§ 7. In examining into the time of a verb, it will often be very necessary for the student to notice whether the sentence, in which it is contained, is simple, or compound; a simple sentence[12] is that which consists of only one time; e. g.

A compound sentence is that in which two times are introduced; e. g.

Of this, however, more hereafter.

We may here also mention that it will often be very necessary to notice the circumstances connected with the uttering of a sentence, i. e. whether it be emphatic; whether it be the answer to a question; whether a large measure of certainty is designed to be implied, &c., &c. On these particulars we shall remark in the Syntax.

.As it is quite immaterial with which part of the verb we commence, we begin with the imperative; simply because our remarks on it will be rather extended, and 2ndly, because we wish that our illustrations of that mood should appear in an unbroken line with our examples of the other parts of the Maori verbs.

{39}§. 8. The imperative mood of Maori abounds in more minute distinctions than any other part of the verb. We present them all here; chiefly because the sentences in which they occur are, for the most part, simple.

1. The most common form for expressing the imperative of an active verb is by its passive; e. g.,

Patu, to strike,   Patua, strike (it).
Tua, to fell,   Tuaina, fell (it).

For the passive voice, see table under that head.

2. (a) If the verb be neuter, and in the second person, the simple ground form is used; e. g.,

(b) Occasionally, however, we find the passive form used, when the meaning of the verb is neuter; e. g.

Sometimes both active and neuter verbs will take the verbal prefixes e, kia, hei, me, kaua, aua, kei, before them to denote the imperative.

{40}(c) E is used sometimes to denote the imperative of active and neuter verbs. It is chiefly used with the second person singular, dual, and plural.

It is never found in the first person singular; but is occasionally used in the first person dual and plural. We know of no instance in which it is employed in the third person, and we believe the following sentence to be incorrect: E aroha mai te Atua ki a tatou, may God love us.

N.B.—Illustrations of these remarks will be given in the table.

(d) Kia is capable of being used in all the persons of the imperative. It is the particle most frequently used with the first person. In the second, it is chiefly used with verbalized adjectives; though occasionally it is prefixed to the verb. In the third, it is used before either adjective or verb, and by its help we may, perhaps, make the best approximation to a form of the imperative in which Maori has been heretofore deficient; viz.—the benedictory; as in such sentences as the following: God be merciful to you.

N.B.—Another way for rendering the above sentence (and one equally deserving of attention) is by the preposition ma; as in the following; ma te atua koe e atawhai.

We ourselves much incline to a form which, at first sight, may not appear very appropriate; viz., kei te atua te atawhai, or tera kei te atua, &c. Though these forms are apparently indicative, yet they are frequently used in the imperative sense; Kei a koe te whakaaro mo tena the consideration for that is with you, i. e., you are to attend to that; kei a koe te tahi kupu ki a tatou, a word to us is with you, i. e., give us a word. Tena ano tetahi taro i a koe ma taku tamaiti, give me some bread for my child. E kite koe i a Hone tena te tahi paraikete, if you see John, give me a blanket, i. e., tell John to &c.

The dehortative and cautionary particles kaua, aua, kei, belong strictly to the imperative.

(e) Under this head we should perhaps also mention the particle me. As it is occasionally heard instead of the real imperative, we shall give it a place here. {41}It will be observed that it does not take the passive after it; e. g.,

(f) The only particles the imperative of passive verbs will admit before it are, kia, kaua, aua, and kei. Following is a table of sentences illustrative of the above remarks. We have preferred placing them all in one list that the student may more easily catch the various distinctions. Other forms are given by which the imperative is sometimes denoted.

  • Whakaakona ahau, teach me.
  • Whakatika, arise.
  • Noho atu, remain away.
  • Hoko mai, come back.
  • Noho puku, sit quiet.
  • Tupeke, jump.
  • Pepeke, draw up your legs.
  • E ara, arise.
  • E noho, sit down.
  • Haere koe, e hoki, go, return.
  • E kai, eat.
  • E ngaki taua, let us two dig (it).
  • Tena koe, kia wakamatu ahau, give it here let me try it.
  • Kia kaha, be strong.
  • Kia hohoro, make haste.
  • Kia ara (te pou), let (the post) be upright.
  • Ko tena, kia nekehia atu, as for that, let it be moved away (by them).
  • Kia maia tatou, let us be courageous, &c.
  • E! kaua ahau e haere ki reira. Pish! let me not go there.
  • Aua e tukua, do not let it go.
  • Kei ngaro, take care lest it be lost.
  • Kei whakarongo atu tatou, let us not listen, &c.
  • {42}Ka oti tena, me ngaki a konei e koe, when that is finished this place must be dug by you.
  • Maku etahi, (give) me some.
  • Hei konei koutou noho ai, do you stop here.
  • Kati te tahae i aku merene, cease stealing my melons, i. e., do not, &c.
  • E tae koe, ka tono mai i a Hone, when you arrive there, send John here.
  • Tatou ki te to, we to drag, i. e., let us go to drag (the canoe.)
  • Ko te tangata kua tukua mai, (before you send the pigs) let the messenger be sent here.

The attention of the reader is also requested to the following paradigm of the tenses as classified according to our arrangement.

He will observe that, as number and person make no difference in the form, one example of a kind will be sufficient.

Most of the sentences here inserted are simple. We shall reserve the consideration of the compound sentences for the Syntax.


  1. E patu ana ahau, I am striking or strike.
  2. E patu ana koe, you are striking, &c.
  3. E patu ana koe, you are striking, &c.


  1. E patu ana maua, or matou.
  2. E patu ana korua, or koutou.
  3. E patu ana raua, or ratou.


  1. E kore ahau e pai, I am not willing.
  2. Ko au tenei, here I am, (lit. this is I).
  3. He tangata kino koe, you (are) a bad man.
  4. Ko toku matua ko Kukutai, Kukutai (is) my father.
  5. {43}Ka pai, it is good.
  6. E haere mai, she is coming.
  7. E pai ranei koe? are you willing?
  8. E ki nei (or na) koe, you affirm.
  9. Kei te patu, he is killing (it), (lit. at the killing).
  10. Noku tenei wahi, this place is mine (lit. mine this place.)


  1. reira ahau i te ata nei, I (have been) there this morning.
  2. Ko Rawiri te matua a Horomona, David (was) the father of Solomon.
  3. He tangata mohio a Horomona, Solomon (was) a wise man.
  4. I haere ano ahau, I went.
  5. Nau i wakaatu, you disclosed.
  6. Ka haere a Ihu, Jesus went.
  7. E ngari a Hone ka kite, John rather saw it (not I.)
  8. Haere ana a Ihu, Jesus went.
  9. He ua tena, that was rain, it rained (used chiefly in animated description.)
  10. He tini aku korerotanga ki a ia, many (have been) my conversations with him.
  11. Ko te tangata kua tukua mai, the messenger had been sent (before the other thing was done.)
  12. Kihai i pai mai, he was not pleased.
  13. Ka te tuku tena wahi, (Ngapuhi) that place has been given to, &c.
  14. Kua patua te poaka? has the pig been killed?
  15. Kua oti noa ake taku mahi, my work has been finished this some time.
  16. He mea hanga naku te purutangi, the handle was made by myself; [lit. the handle (was) a thing made of mine, (actively).]


  1. Ka haere ahau, I will go.
  2. {44}E riri mai koe? will you be angry?
  3. Maku e patu, I will kill (it) [lit. the killing (it is to be) for me.]
  4. Ko koe te haere? are you (the person) that is to go?
  5. Tera e mate, he will die (perhaps), (lit. that will die.)
  6. E kore e tukua, it will not be let go.
  7. E tae koe ki Waitemata, When you go to Waitemata.
  8. Akuanei ko ia kua tae, the chances are that he will get there first; (lit. presently it is he that has arrived.)
  9. Kowai hei tiki? who is to fetch it?


  1. Haere ki te whiu, go to drive (it), (lit. go to the driving.)
  2. Pai kia haere, willing to go.
  3. E kore e ahei te tohe, I cannot press you; (lit. the pressing cannot be effected.)

§. 6. Voice.—Maori verbs, in respect of voice, may be considered under the three well known heads of active, passive and neuter.

§. 7. The active is the simple root modified by one or more of the words already mentioned, e. g. e patu ana ahau, I am striking.

§. 8. The passive is the root varied in its termination; e. g. e patua ana ahau, I am struck.

Note.—The student will find, as we proceed, that the Maori passive differs in some respects from that of the English, Latin and Greek.

§. 9. The neuter expresses being, or a state or condition of being; when the agent and the object acted upon coincide, and the event is properly neither {45}action nor passion, but rather something between both: as I am, I sleep, I walk."[14]

Note.—Verbs derived from the simple adjective will generally rank under the head of neuter. Under this class also do we reduce a species of verbs in the arrangement of which we have felt some difficulty; viz.—such words as, pakaru, broken; marere, conceded, &c., i. e., words which are neuter in form, but passive in meaning; which correspond in meaning to the past participle passive of the European languages, but are not traceable to any root. After much consideration we are inclined to think that they may most satisfactorily be regarded as adjectives, and classified accordingly: thus, in the following sentence, "kua pakaru te waka i te ngaru," the canoe has been broken by the waves, we should regard pakaru as an adjective, or rather a verbalized adjective, just as much as we should kino in the following, "kua kino te waka i te paru," the canoe is bad, or uncomfortable, through the filth.

To any who wishes to regard such a class as passive participles, we would reply, that the preposition i, (not e,) following them clearly determines them as belonging to the neuter family; and that though their meaning may not coincide with our definition of a neuter verb, yet we feel no difficulty on that head; for we only act in common with other grammarians, who have laid it down as a useful rule "a potiori nomen fit."

As it may be useful to the student to be acquainted with this class of words we will supply a table of some of the principal, after we have made some farther observations on the voices.[15]

In the passive we meet with variation in the termination of the ground-form.

A, to drive away, &c. Aia.
Ka, (v.n.) to light (as a fire) Kangia.
Maka, to throw away, Makā.
Wakama, to make clean. Wakamakia.
Hura, to expose (by taking off the cover) Hurahia, or Hurangia.
{46}Whakateka, to denounce as false, Wakatekaina.
Aroha, to love, Arohaina or Arohatia.
Tua, to fell (as a tree,) Tuaina, or Tuakina.
Raranga, to knit (a native basket, &c.) Rangahia.
{ Meatia.
Mea, to do, Meinga.
Meingatia (Ngapuhi).
He, (part. adj.) unacquainted with, &c. Hengia.
Kukume, to pull, Kumea.
Rere, (v.n.) sail as a boat, { Reia.
  and to flow as water, Rerengia.
Whakatete, to milk, Wakatetekia.
Paihere, to bind in bundles, Paiheretia,
Ope, to gather &c. (in handfuls,) Opehia.
Whakapae, besige, or to accuse falsely, Whakapaea.
{ Whakaaengia,
Whakaae, assent to,   or
Hi, to fish with a hook, Hia.
Ririringi, (v.a.) to spill, { Ringitia.
Whaki, to confess, Whakina.
Arahi, to guide, Arahina.
Whawhaki, to gather (as grapes, &c.) Whakiia.
Kikini, to pinch, Kinitia.
Whangai, to feed, { Whangaia.
Pupuhi, to fire (a gun), or to blow with the mouth, Puhia.
Pai, (adj.) good, Paingia.
Ho-mai, to give, { Ho-mai.
Ho-atu, to give, Ho-atu.
{47}Waiho, leave, Waiho.
Ko, to dig, { Keia.
Mono, to calk, Monoa.
Aro, to regard with favour, Aroagia.
Horo, (part. adj.) tumble down, as a land-slip, Horongia.
Horo, to swallow, Horomia.
Whakato, to sow, or plant, { Wakatokia.
Takoto, (v.n.) to lie, Takotoria.
Manako, (same as aro) Manakohia.
Toko, to propel by poles, Tokona.
Rongo, to hear, Rangona.
Whawhao, to stow, { Whaowhina.
Utuutu, to draw water, Utuhia.
Utu, to pay, Utua.
Ruku, (v.n.) to dive, Rukuhia.
Tu, (v.n.) to stand, Turia.
Whakau, to kindle, Whakaungia.
Hohou, to bind fencing, &c. Houhia.
Whawhau, (Waikato) idem Whauwhia.
Maumau, (part. a.) wasted, Maumauria.
Tatau, to fight against, Tauria.
Hahau, to seek, Hahauria.
Whakahou, to make new, Whakahoutia.
Mate-nui, much coveted, Mate-nuitia.
Tangata-whenua, a denizen, Tangata-whenuatia, to be naturalized.

(a) It will be seen that the above arrangement is made according to the final letter of the ground form, and that each division contains some examples of reduplicated words, and of words ending in diphthongs.

(b) That, in words ending in a, the passive is mostly made by adding to the last syllable ia, ngia, kia, hia, ina, atia, kina.

{48}(c) That some verbs receive no additions to the last syllable; as maka, and that the active and passive are, in those cases, alike. On the Eastern coast ia takes the place of simple a in the passive; e. g. maka, makaia.

The speaker should be always careful, in pronouncing passive a to throw the emphasis strongly on the last syllable. The following words are of this description: panga, to throw away; pana, to shove away, &c.; kanga, to curse; wakamana, to ratify, &c.; taunaha, to bespeak; taka, to fall from a height; unga, to send; waha, to carry on the back.

(d) That some verbs have sometimes two or more terminations for the passive; as arohatia, arohaina, arohangia. We may here remark that some words have different passives in different districts; e. g.

(e) That in words, one or more of the syllables of which are repeated, the reduplication will very frequently be dropped in the passive; e. g.

Note.—It must however be noticed that there are many exceptions to this rule, and that the omitting or retaining the reduplication is often left to the option of the speaker. In those instances, however, in which he wishes to denote with peculiar emphasis the distribution, repetition, &c., implied by the reduplication, he always, as far as he can, retains it; e. g.

(f) In a few instances we meet with a passive formed by a change of the first syllable; e. g.

Examples of this rule are very few.

(g) Of the passives of compound verbs, two examples are given at the end of the table. The rule for their formation is the same as that for the passives of simple verbs: the final letters, in both cases, being the {49}only thing on which they depend. Occasionally, however, we meet with a word resolved into two parts, and each part put into the passive voice; e. g.,

There is another form similar to the preceding, which requires to be mentioned here; viz., when two verbs follow each other in immediate succession, one of which acts as a kind of adverb, or qualifying word, to the other, they will both sympathize with each other in voice; will either be both active or both passive; e. g.,

In such phrases the latter of the two verbs will generally take tia for its passive form.

(h) Occasionally a passive word may be met with which has no active; as parangia e te moe, oppressed by sleep; rokohina and rokohanga, waiho, homai and hoatu.

(i) Passive verbs are used in a more extended sense in Maori, than what is commonly met with in other languages, not excepting, perhaps, even the three passives of Hebrew.

The following are a few illustrations of the various uses:—

{51}For further remarks on this part of the Maori verb, vid. S.

(k) Note.—The student will sometimes find that the simple root is used with a similar variation of meaning; e. g.

Sentences, however, like the last of these are mostly employed when emphasis and brevity are desired more than accuracy.

§. 12. The verbal nouns also (for which vid. chap. 3 §. c.) experience considerable variations in meaning. They are in most cases formed from the passive voice of the root; and as the rules for their formation may be easily learned by comparing a few with their respective ground forms, it may perhaps be sufficient to give the nouns derived from the verbs of the last mentioned table:

Aia, Anga.
Kangia, nga.
Makā, Makanga.
Wakamakia, Wakamakanga.
Hurahia, Hurahanga.
Wakatekaina, Wakatekanga.
Arohatia, Arohatanga.
Tuakina, Tuakanga.
Meatia, Meatanga.
Hengia, Heanga, or Henga.
Kumea, Kumenga.
Rerengia, Rēnga.
Paiheretia, Paiheretanga.
{52}Hia, Hianga.
Ringihia, Ringihanga.
Whakina, Whakinga.
Kinitia, Kinitanga.
Whangaia, Whangainga.
Homai, Homaitanga.
Waiho, Waihotanga.
Koia, Koanga.
Horo, Horonga.
Horomia, Horomanga.
Rangona, Rongonga.
Whaowhina, Whaowhanga.
Utuhia, Utuhanga.
Rukuhia, Rukuhanga.
Houhia, Houhanga.
Tauria, Tatauranga.
Houtia, Houtanga.

Sometimes where it is desirable to make a distinction, on account of the greatness of the difference between the two branches of the same root, a different form will be adopted for each meaning; e. g.

§. 13. Neuter verbs.—On these but few remarks are required. For the distinction between the preposition i, by which they are followed, and the particle i, which follows active verbs, vid. i (prepositions, §. 10, note.)

That they sometimes take the passive form may be seen in the illustrations of the passive voice. In some cases also their passives change their nature, and become similar in meaning to the passives of active verbs; e. g.

{53}§. 14. As the participial adjectives may be most conveniently classed under this head, we shall insert here a table of the principal of them:—

§. 15. That we are correct in denominating such words, as the above, "participial adjectives," will appear from the consideration that they will assume the form of an adjective, or participle, according to the nature of the word by which they may be translated: thus marie may be translated quiet, and be considered an adjective; or pacified, and be considered a participle. Neither indeed will it appear strange that an adjective should be found, in one language, exactly corresponding to a participle in another, if we only reflect on the origin of the following adjectives of the English; exact, competent, complete, perfect, correspondent, &c., &c.

Like adjectives, these words will assume the form of a verb, when in connexion with the verbal participles. Indeed, (as we have already observed,) our impression is, that, the more we examine, the more shall we be led to think that a genuine verb is by no means a common thing in Maori; and that substantives, adjectives, and other classes, are the fountains to which most of the verbs of the language may be traced.

[11]  There are many things connected with this subject that will, no doubt, often appear strange to the European reader; and he will frequently have to be careful lest he be misled by theories derived from occidental grammars. In those languages the verb is a leading word in the sentence, and by it exclusively is the office of affirmation or predication performed.

In Maori, on the contrary, a pure genuine verb is by no means of frequent occurrence: almost any word denoting a thing, or quality, is capable of sustaining that office; and predication is as frequently implied as expressed. In considering, therefore, the Maori verbs, we shall have to examine, not only those words which have been invested with the properties belonging to that class; but also those forms in which no mark of predication is expressed. The term predication we have adopted, for want of better, to denote those functions which are peculiar to the verb, and which are sometimes described by grammarians under the terms "affirmation" and "assertion."

[12]  We have adopted the term "sentence" in preference to "proposition," lest the student should be led into perplexity by conceiving that we used the terms simple and compound in the same senses as those in which they are used by logicians.

From our examples he will see that we should call a sentence simple, even though the subject and predicate be complex terms.

By noticing whether, when the sentence is translated, one or two verbs are introduced, and whether either of them is dependent in time on the other, the student will easily make the distinction that we are desirous of establishing. The importance of this distinction will be seen in our examples of a compound sentence. For, in the first e-ana, which is present in a simple sentence, is now past; in the second, kua is future, though it strictly belongs to the past tense; in the fourth example this same particle stands for the pluperfect potential.

[13]  We may here mention that, in speaking of actions done by members of the body, Maori never supposes the individual, but rather the member, to perform the act. Thus, such expressions as "lift up your head," "open your mouth," "stretch out your leg," would not be rendered, as we have heard some speakers express it, by "huaia ake to matenga," "hamamatia to waha, &c.," but rather "kia ara ake to matenga," "hamama tou waha," "wharoro tou waewae."

We have, indeed, occasionally heard a native say, wheterongia, (whaterongia, Ngapuhi) tou arero, titahangia; but these phrases are very rare.

[14]  Lowth.

[15]  N.B.—When we have occasion to speak of this class of words by themselves, as distinct from neuter verbs, we shall denominate them participial adjectives.



Scarcely any part of Maori is more worthy of attention than the prepositions. In no language, that we are acquainted with, are their powers so extensive. While, in common with those of English and Hebrew, they serve to express those relations, which in some languages are chiefly marked by the different endings of the nouns, they extend their influence still farther, and are, in many instances, of material importance in determining the time of the sentence in which they are placed.

They are simple and compound. The simple are those which, in construction, take no other preposition into union with them. The principal prepositions of this class are as follows:

The compound prepositions are those which, like the composite of Hebrew, require one or more of the simple to set forth their meaning. They are as follows:

The meaning and uses, however, of the above, both simple, and compound, are exceedingly various; and the attention of the student is therefore requested to the following notices respecting them.[16]

E, by (applied to the agent, not the instrument) is always prefixed to the agent when a passive verb precedes; e. g.,

When neuter[17] verbs assume the passive form the agent follows, as in regular transitive verbs, and is {57}preceded by e; e. g.

Verbal nouns, and verbs preceded by such words as hohoro, oti, ahei, hei, pau, taea, taihoa, taria, &c., will take e after them; e. g.

The following, also, are instances in which e is found after the active verb—after a verb, at least, active in form.

I, by, (follows a neuter verb, no matter whether the agent be animate or inanimate):

2. With.

Note.—In this latter sentence foreigners often make mistakes, and render it, ka riro mai ki a au. Wherever obtaining, receiving, {58}taking, for possession, or such like, is intended, i mostly signifies the person, ki the place; as in the following examples:

If the following passage were properly and correctly translated, how different would its meaning be from that intended by the speaker! kia riro atu ratou i te hunga nanakia, rescue them out from the cruel people. The true meaning of the passage, as it stands, is, Let them depart into the power of the cruel.

3. From,

Note.—For the difference between i and no see the latter proposition § 4. Under this head may be mentioned a partitive sense in which i is sometimes taken; e. g.,

4. To, (denoting possession, used somewhat similarly to the dative we find in Latin when sum is used for habeo;) e. g.,

Note.—Beginners are often misled by natives and each other in the use of this preposition. Such sentences as the following are incorrect, I a koe haere, go thou, I a koe korero, you said. It should be, Haere koe; and, nau i korero.

5. Through, (or in consequence of),

{59}6. In, or at.

7. At, (past time),

8. At, (future),

9. Than, (used in comparison); (vid. S. adjectives),

10. Under this head may be classed some instances that cannot well be reduced to any of the above rules:

The following examples seem to be opposed to rule 1, and are therefore deserving of notice. They are perhaps confined to Waikato:

In such instances as these, we should regard i as pleonastic, somewhat like, perhaps, the prepositions from and in of Hebrew and Arabic.

The student should ever be mindful of the distinction between the preposition i and the particle by which the accusative, (as it would be called in Latin,) {60}is denoted. This particle has, of itself, no specific meaning. In many instances its use is similar to that of êhth in Hebrew; e. g.,

It follows an active verb, whereas the preposition follows the neuter, and signifies by. The uses of the two words are totally opposite, as may be seen in the following example. A young teacher wishing to say, sin produces pain, thus expressed his sentiment: Ko te kino ka whanau i te mamae. Now, whanau is not an active verb. It is a participial adjective. It is used correctly in John iii. 8, Whanau i te Wairua, born of the Spirit. The sentence therefore that we have adduced, if strictly translated, would run thus, sin is born of, or produced by pain.

KI, with, (denotes the instrument); e. g.,

Note.—When used in this sense it very rarely follows neuter verbs; for example it would not be correct to say, Ka wera i a au ki te ahi, it will be burned up by me with fire. Some passive verb, as tahuna, &c. should, in this case precede instead of wera. The following form, however, is correct:

Many speakers confound the instrumental character (if we may so speak) of this preposition with another use of the word with, which, we believe, is seldom denoted by ki.

If, for example, we had to translate into Latin the following sentence, "to speak with fear;" (i. e. timidly,) how incorrect would it be to render fear into the ablative that is used for denoting an instrument! All would see that dicere metu does not express that meaning, and that cum metu dicere, or something to that effect, was the true rendering. So also here, wherever appendage, {61}connexion and such like is intended, ki is, we believe, a preposition that is very seldom called into use. We therefore disapprove of such a sentence as the following:

It should however be noticed that ki is sometimes found in other uses of the word with, in which no instrumentality is designed; e. g.,

This last example, however, might perhaps be most correctly translated at; as in the following:

On this use of ki we shall have to remark in the Syntax.

2. To,

3. For,

4. At (past time),

5. At (future time),

6. According to,

{62}We would here suggest by way of corollary that in quoting the sentiments of any writer, the most appropriate form for the phrase "according to" would be ki ta, as in the above example. Thus the gospel according to St. Matthew might be well rendered by "ko te rongo pai ki ta Matiu;" the rule, according to my opinion, is, &c., "ko te tikanga, ki taku whakaaro, ko &c."

It is used also where if would be employed in English:

Sometimes (in Waikato) it is used pleonastically:

Frequently, in consequence of the elliptical character of the language, it is found in various other uses, which it is difficult to reduce to rule. The following are a few examples:

From the above sentence the student will form an idea of how much the business of language is performed in Maori by prepositions.

{63}KEI, at.—It denotes chiefly present time; e. g.

2. At. (future time.) It is not unfrequently found in such constructions as the following:

3. Sometimes, in animated language, it is used instead of ko before the nominative case; e. g.,

4. Occasionally, in Waikato, it is used in the following construction: kua riro kei te hoe mai, he is gone to fetch it (the canoe). We are aware that it has been said that there should be a stop at riro, and that properly the above may be said to consist of two sentences, as follows: he is gone, he is fetching it. We are, however, certain that many sentences will be heard, in which no stop can be detected in the native pronunciation.

5. Sometimes it is used in the sense of like:

NO, of, (the sign of the possessive case.) In this signification he is the only article that it will admit before it; e. g.,

The following construction, however, is an exception:

Note.—We may here observe that, in denoting the possessive case, no follows he, and o follows te, or nga. The following sentence is incorrect:

{64}The he here requires no after it. We shall have occasion hereafter (vid. verbs Syntax) to mention an exception to this rule which is sometimes heard among the tribes to the southward of Waikato.

2. From, (that time),

3. From, (that cause),

Note.—In all examples of this, and the preceding head, no will take a past tense after it.

4. From, (that place),

There is a distinction between this meaning of no, and that of i, (vid. i. 3.) which is very useful and important. No signifies the place to which you belong, whether it be England, Rotorua, &c. I signifies the place you have been visiting as a mere sojourner.

Thus if we were to ask a person, "No hea koe?" he would most probably reply, "No Hauraki, no Waikato," or some place of which he was a denizen; but if we were to ask "I hea koe?" he would then mention some place he had been just visiting. This distinction does not seem to be so clearly recognized at the northward as it is in all the central parts of the island.

NA, of, the active form of no, (vid. Syntax for the distinction between o and a).

2. By,

Note.—Na does not in this sense take a passive after it. It is not quite certain that na does, in such sentences as the above, signify by. The subject will be more fully considered in the Syntax. (vid. verbs).

Na, in this sense, always takes i after it. The following sentence is incorrect: Nana hoki kua tohutohu enei mea, he also has appointed these things. (For na followed by ka vid. Ma. 5.)

3. Through or BY (what cause, instrumentality, &c.)

{65}Sometimes, in this use of it, it is followed by a passive voice, with ai.

Sometimes (but rarely) it is followed by an active verb:

4. By (place, conveyance. &c).

MO.—N.B. Mo and ma seem to be future forms of no and na in many particulars.

1. For or BECAUSE OF, (followed most frequently by a past tense, even though the meaning be present); e. g.,

Sometimes, however, it is followed by other particles:

2. For, (denoting appropriation, use, or some action passing on to the noun or pronoun to which it is prefixed):

3. For (in exchange), he utu mo taku mahi.

Sometimes but rarely it is found in the following construction:

4. For.

5. At, (future time),

6. Concerning.

We have observed mo used by foreigners in sentences in which for would appear to be pleonastic, as open the door for me; dress this wound for me, &c. We have no hesitation however in affirming that mo is never used in such a construction.

7. Used with a verbal noun to denote a preparedness, &c., for some future act; e. g.

MA. The active form of mo. (Vid. S.) It implies always future time.

1. For.

2. By or more strictly, for,

3. By, (what means, &c.)

{67}4. Sometimes it is used to denote a simple future:

5. It is very frequently employed in hypothetic and contingent propositions; e. g.

A very common way of denoting contingency is to associate ma or na with a personal pronoun, even though the latter have no direct meaning in the sentence. We give the following sentence in full, that the reader may better understand our meaning.

To this interesting point of Maori criticism we shall return when we treat on the tenses; vid. S.

6. By, (with reference to place or conveyance) in the same sense as na; vid. Na. 4.

RA, by, same as Ma 6; vid.

HEI, at,—always future, applied to place, intention &c.

2. It is often used to denote purpose, object, use, &c., where in English we should use as, to, for, instead, &c., e. g.

Sometimes we hear the following:

3. Occasionally, but rarely, it is used to denote frequent action; e. g.

Note.—A very strange use of this preposition is to be found in some parts of the south-eastern coast; as in the following examples:—

On the western coast such an address would be a most offensive curse.

O, of; e. g.

A, of; the active form of o; vid. S.

N.B.—We sometimes meet with to and ta; e. g.

Such words however are clearly composed of to and o, or a.

A. (This seems to be different from the article a, as also from the foregoing.)

KO. (This seems to be different from the verbal particle ko;—vid. verbal particles Syntax.)

{69}TO, up to. The following is the only construction in which we have heard this preposition.

N.B.—To almost always takes a plural number after it.

Compound Prepositions.—One or two examples will be a sufficient illustration of all.

Runga is capable of the following combinations: I runga i, ki runga ki, ki runga i, ki runga o, no runga no, no runga i, o runga o, kei runga kei, kei runga i, hei runga i, hei runga hei, mo runga mo, &c., &c. The first preposition in the combination and the meaning of the sentence will always determine the last.

Sometimes the adverbs ake and iho, (vid. adverbs,) as also the particles atu and mai, are postfixed to the prepositions to increase its force; e. g.

A very singular use of roto (or ro) may be found in the neighbourhood of the East Cape: e. g.

A similar use of waenga may be found in all parts of the island; e. g.

Its use however does not extend much beyond those instances.

A very common and elegant use of runga is, when it is employed in the sense of amongst, on, or with, to denote concomitancy, &c., &c.; as in the following examples:

The preceding examples suggest a good approximation to a form of expression which, we confess, we have been unable to find under the preposition ki; i. e. with noting concomitancy, (vid. ki (1)), as in the following examples: "Pray with faith;" "love God with your whole heart." In these sentences we should have no hesitation in using runga.

A very common form of, we believe, Maori origin, is,

The other compound prepositions may often be rendered very useful by giving them, as in the above, a figurative acceptation according with the nature of the subject. One or two examples will suffice.

Tua is thus employed:

The student should carefully remember that muri and mua do not exactly correspond with behind and before in English, and that tua is very frequently employed to denote those words.

We have heard the following very erroneous expressions from some old settlers:

Muri and mua (as well as the substantive aroaro) are chiefly employed in connexion with living objects. When allusion is made to the date of events, the student will remember that the prepositions a, mo, mo, a, hei, kei, ko, hei a and ko a, denote future time, and that no, i, and o will always indicate past time.

{71}These prepositions will sometimes take verbal particles into connexion with them, and may be frequently found in other forms to occupy the place of verbs, substantives, and adverbs; vid. ch. 1, § 6. (c), ch. 7. § 1. (b), and ch. 9.

Sometimes we meet with other forms for denoting what would be represented by a preposition in English. Though their proper place belongs to the dictionary, we beg the reader's permission to insert a few here:

Puta noa i tera taha, (make its appearance out at the other side);—through.
A taea noatia tenei ra, { arrives on to }
  or   or this day.
A tae noa ki tenei ra till it reaches

The prefix whaka, when in union with a word, will impart the meaning of towards, and change it into an adverb; e. g.,

The above form deserves, we think, the notice of our Missionary brethren as supplying a good approximation to an use {72}of the word by, which we have not been able to find under the preposition ki or mo, viz., when it is used in adjuration. If, for example, we had to translate into prose the following stanza:—

By thy birth, and early years;
By thy griefs, and sighs, and tears;
Jesus look with pitying eye.
Hear, and spare us when we cry,

we should feel very reluctant to use either ki or mo. For, in that case, our Lord's hearing would be represented as a thing to be accomplished, or purchased by himself with his birth and early years—a version quite foreign from the original.

We should therefore prefer something to this effect:—"Whakarongo mai, tohungia hoki matou, &c., wakamaharatia tou whanautanga, &c.," or, "kia mahara hoki ki tou whanautanga ki tou taitamarikitanga, &c., &c."

Some, perhaps, would prefer—"I whanua nei hoki koe i taitamariki, &c.;" neither should we object to such a form. All we contend for is, that ki and mo will not answer, and that they would often, in such kind of sentences, convey very erroneous doctrines. Approximation to such a meaning is all we can hope for; and that is the best which differs least in sense from the original.

[16]  Many of the following remarks belong properly to the Syntax. The student however will, we trust, find it advantageous to have the whole subject placed thus, in one connected view before him.

[17]  By neuter verbs, here, are intended also participial adjectives. (Vid. verbs, note, under head "Neuter.")



The adverbs of Maori may be considered under two heads, primitive and derivative.

The primitive are but few in number.

The derivative are very numerous, and may be thus ranked:

1st. Those which require some preposition to exhibit their application; e. g.,

2ndly. Those which are derived from words of other parts of speech.

3rdly. Those phrases which supply the place of adverbs.

The last class is very large, Maori being deficient in the variety of adverbs; and though, strictly speaking, most of them cannot claim a place in this chapter, we shall mention them:

1stly. Because many foreigners are much perplexed from not being acquainted with them, and

2ndly. Because, being idiomatic phrases, a knowledge of them is of great importance to the composition of elegant Maori.

Note 1.—Some of the following adverbs might, it will be seen, have been easily classified under other heads. It was necessary, however, to have a classification, and it is not of much consequence under which head a phrase of equivocal character should be classed.

{74}Note 2.—Some of the adverbial particles are fully considered in the next chapter.

Adverbs may be reduced to the following classes:—to those of time, place, order, quantity, quality, manner, affirmation, negation, comparison, interrogation, and intensity.


Aianei, }
Anaianei, presently.
Moanaianei, for this present occasion.
Nonaianei, } now, just now.
A moroki noa nei, }
A mohoa noa nei,
A tae noa ki, } tenei ra (lit. until it is down to this.
  taea noatia, arrived to this day), present time.
A, e noho nei, (Waikato), [lit. down to
  this (time) in which (we) are sitting.]
Rapua Te Atua i tona kitenga ai, karangatia atu kei tata ana ia, seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

While he may be found, might also be rendered by i tona kiteatanga.

Wawe, }
E kore e taro, it will not be long, soon.
E kore e roa, idem,
E kore e wheau, idem,
{ ake nei, }
Tukua   or (leave hence forward,) hereafter.
No } tahi ra, { the day before yesterday; (lit.
I   from or on the other day).
No } tahi ra atu, { a short time ago, (lit. from or on
I   the other day besides, or beyond).
No } mua, formerly.
No } nanamata, a long time ago, or in old times.
No { muri } afterwards.
Muri { iho } afterwards.
I } te aonga ake, next day.
No te atatu, early in the morning.
No reira, from that time, occasion, &c.
I tenei ra i tenei ra, (lit. this day, this day), } continually.
I te ao i te po, (lit. day and night),
Tena ano, do it again.
Ka { turua } waenga, at midnight.


Ko hea, (whea Waikato), whither.
Hei hea, at what place (future).
No hea, } from what place, whence.
I hea,
Ki ko, thither.
No { konei,[20] } from this (and that) place.
I kona, & kora,
Kei reira te pakaru kei reira te paru: lit., there the broken place there the repair, wheresoever it is broken there coat with raupo.[20]
Kei waho e noho ana, he is sitting outside.

Note 2. Ki reira, no reira, hei reira, &c., correspond, in most cases, with ki kona, no kona, hei kona, with this difference, however, {78}that the na and ra follow the rule already noticed. Vide tena, Pronouns.

Ora noa, }
Me i kotahi, (lit. if it had been one), all but, &c.
Wahi iti, a little bit,


I te tahi taha i te tahi taha, }
  (lit. on one side, on one side.)
A karapoi noa, (lit. until it surrounds) round about.
A porowhawhe noa, id.
A potaipotai, id.




Maori is very well supplied with affirmative and negative particles, all of which differ by very slight shades of meaning from each other, and the uses of which will be best learned by practice.


Negative adverbs partake of the nature of verbal particles. We have given some examples of them in chapter vii., (vid. paradigm of the tenses,) and we shall have occasion also to notice them in the Syntax.

Hore, no; hore rawa, by no means.
Kahore, not and no.
Kaho, } no.
Kihai, not.
Kore, idem.
Tē, idem; tē whakaaro ia, who did not remember.
Aua, }
Auaka, do not.

Haunga,[24] not, (denoting exclusion, or exception); e. g.,

Aua, } I do not know.
Meho, (Waikato,) } not at all, (used in abrupt replies).


Meatia, { peneitia, do it thus,
  or penatia, } do it in that manner.


Maori has many particles which indicate interrogation, and which correspond, in some particulars, with {85}the enclitic particles ne and num of Latin; e. g.,

Ranei, ianei, iana, and iara, are always incorporated into the sentence, and generally denote a question, e. g.,

Ranei is very frequently used in the sense of whether.

Ianei, iana, and iara, are sometimes pleonastic in Waikato.


Pai rawa, tino tika, tino pai rawa, kino whakaharahara, tika pu, he noa iho, tini whakarere, tika tonu; all these adverbs stand for very or some modification of it; e. g.,

Maori, as might be expected in the language of a rude people, abounds in adverbs of intensity. We shall have to mention some of these hereafter, (vid. adjective, comparative degree, Syntax.) They sometimes elegantly supply the place of verbal particles, as {86}we shall have occasion to show when we treat on the Syntax of the verbs.

From the preceding table the student will see that Maori has the power of increasing its adverbs to any extent, and that the chief process by which a word may be converted into an adverb, is by placing it in immediate connexion with the verb or adjective.

It should, perhaps, be here noticed, 1st, that Maori inclines to this mode of construction. Thus, where we should say, the women and the children must all roll the log; a native would most probably employ the adverb; e. g., Huri tane huri wahine. Such a mode of construction, though loose, is, however, concise and emphatic.

2ndly. That the adverb, in this case, admits of the same variations as the verb—admits of number, voice, and the form of the verbal noun. For this, however, vid. Syntax.

3rdly. That another process for the creation of adverbs is by prefixing whaka, or a to the preposition, noun, or adverb.

4thly. That the compound prepositions, especially when time and place are denoted, will very often take the adverbial form.[27]

5thly and lastly. It would be a very useful exercise for the student to examine those sentences, the place of which would be supplied by an adverb in English, and notice the nature of their construction. Some, for example, he will find rendered by the verb, some by the verbal noun, some by the substantive in the possessive case, some by the pronoun, &c.

We have dwelt so long upon this subject, that we are unwilling to occupy his attention any further with it.

[18]  These adverbs of time are arranged according to their times, past present, and future. For the time of those adverbs which are compounded with prepositions, vid. the simple prepositions, chapter 8. The principal compound adverbs are hea, ahea, mua, muri, amata, apopo, reira, ko. They are chiefly adverbs of time and place. As they are of very common use, we shall give examples of their various combinations. Some of these combinations ought, perhaps, more properly to be considered as belonging to the class of substantives:

Reira, ko and konei, &c., will take the same combination as muri. It will be observed that some of the above adverbs take n between them and the preposition.

[19]Ka mutu, and ka mea generally denote future time, and imply a short interval between the time of speaking and the act. Though the former expresses an ending of something else, it does not always intend it; for it is often used when the person addressed is not engaged at any thing. As there is nothing in Maori corresponding exactly to the Hebraic mode of phrase which is translated "it came to pass," "it shall come to pass," some have adapted ka mea as a substitute, and in some cases, perhaps, it must stand for want of better. There are, however, cases in which we think a more correct and idiomatic form might be adopted; viz.:—a simple a, or nawai a or tenei ake, &c. We, for example, should have no scruple in translating the following sentences "so it came to pass when all the men of war were consumed," &c., nawai a, ka poto nga tangata hapai patu katoa te mate, &c., "and it shall come to pass if ye hearken," &c., a tenei ake, ki te whakarongo koutou, &c., "and it came to pass when he heard," &c., a, te rongonga o, &c.

[20]  For the difference between nei, na, and ra, vid. pronouns, page 30.

[21]  The tangata wero, is the person who advances to meet a party, and throws a spear at them. If, in turning to retire, he turns to the side different from that from which the spear was darted, it is a huri koaro, and a bad omen.

[22]Tahanga is only to be found as adverb.

[23]Ae, and ina do not always strictly imply affirmation; e. g., Kahore he kete? He kete ano; ae ra, tikina atu. Is there no basket? There is a basket; yes, then, go fetch it. The word answer in Hebrew, and that corresponding to it in the Greek Testament and Septuagint, affords, we think, a parallel to this use of ae. (vid. Parkhurst's Greek Lexicon, by Rose.) It is putting a command, &c., into the form of an assent to some previous sentence.—N.B. Ina is often used to denote energy, certainty, &c.; e. g., ina ka riri au, certainly, in that case, I will be angry.

[24]  Some, we believe, maintain that the adverb besides should be always rendered by haunga. It is true that, wherever exclusion or negation is indicated by that word, haunga will generally answer; e. g., E rua tekau ratou, haunga nga wahine, they were twenty, besides (that is not counting) the women. In the leading sense, however, of besides, viz., that of moreover, addition to, haunga will, we are sure, seldom find an use; as in the following examples: "Besides you know," "nobody thinks so besides yourself," "there is nothing there besides the box," "besides her he had no child."

[25]  Some foreigners, we observe, give this adverb a more extensive meaning than we have allowed it. In such phrases, for example, as the following: "Held by the hand," "built by the hand," &c., they would say "purutia a ringaringatia," "hanga a ringaringa." We are, however, decidedly of opinion that such expressions are very rare in genuine Maori. "Purutia ringaringatia, hanga e te ringa," are, we consider, in every way preferable.

[26]Koia, when part of an interrogative sentence, is, as far as we have observed, (although we are aware that some respectable speakers of Maori have not followed the rule,) almost always used in rejoinder; e. g., I pehea koia ahau? what then did I say? The speaker here supposes that the hearer had disputed his statement, and uses koia. Oti is used in a somewhat similar construction with the meaning of else, e. g., He aha oti? what else then is it?

[27]  It has been objected by a learned friend that the compound prepositions are more properly adverbs, and that in such a sentence as "kei roto i te whare," i is the governing preposition, and roto is an adverb. With all deference, however, to his very superior critical abilities, we submit, that if a preposition be "a particle denoting the relation of one substantive to another" then roto is a preposition; for it clearly indicates a local relation between roto (or i roto, if you please,) and the thing spoken of. Those who feel sceptical on this point, we would beg to examine the composite prepositions of Hebrew. For example, the Hebrew preposition under (tahath) is recognised as a preposition by grammarians, even though it may require the prepositions from and to in combination with it to exhibit its meaning. So also, in English, such prepositions as according to, out at, out of, &c., are not considered as disfranchised by the supplementary preposition annexed to them. At the same time it is to be noted, that where there is a break between the compound preposition and its supplement, then the former must be considered as an adverb; thus, in the sentence, "Kei raro, kei te whare," it is below, it is in the house; raro is here, as it is in English, an adverb joined to is; the line of connection being broken by a comma. In such a construction as this, the same preposition that precedes the compound preposition, (or rather, in this case, the adverb,) must also follow it.



We have thought it better to devote a separate chapter to the consideration of the following particles of Maori; first, because those words, though they strongly partake of the nature of adverbs, are yet sometimes used as conjunctions; secondly, because we are of opinion that a distinct consideration of them will be the best way to impart clear and comprehensive views of their nature.

An accurate acquaintance with these epea pteroenta "winged words" of discourse, is in most languages of very difficult attainment: but in Maori, particularly, do they require our study; that language not conceding to the verb the same prominent place that it occupies in other languages, and rather, (as we have already observed,) transacting the business of predication by pronouns, particles, &c.

They are mainly used for embellishing, defining, and impressing a sentence, and may, with the prepositions, be justly denominated the hinges of Maori.

To enumerate them all would be an endless task, and perhaps a useless one: for, in no part of Maori is there so great a discrepancy in the various districts. The following, we think, are the most general in use, and most deserving of notice: atu, mai, ake, iho, ai, ano, ra, koa, u, hoki, kau.

Atu and mai are, in most respects, exactly opposite; atu indicates an emanation forth of action from—the latter an approach or direction towards—the speaker.


E kore ahau e rongo atu, I do not hear forth. E kore e rongo mai, will not hear towards (me or us).
E rangona mai ranei tatou? shall we be heard towards (us)?
Tu atu, stand out of my way. Kati mai i kona, stand towards me there.
Tikina atu, go there and bring here, i. e., fetch thence. Tikina mai, fetch hence.
E tatari atu ana matou ki a koe, we are waiting forth to you.
E kore ahau e kaha atu, I shall not be strong forth, i. e., shall not be able to take it there. Mau mai ano, for you truly hither, i. e., it is for you to strike the first blow, &c.

N.B.—Atu will sometimes lose its peculiar meaning after a verb, (vid. verbs, S.) It will also occasionally stand for other: Tera atu ano, that is another; i. e., there are other besides.

Ake and Iho. The general uses of ake and iho are, of the former up, and of the latter down, to the speaker:

Sometimes they will stand, the one for up, the other for down, to the object of the action; e. g.,

Ake and iho will sometimes denote propriety, peculiarity, self-existence, &c.; e. g.,

Ake will sometimes signify the other side of the speaker, whether it be before, behind, to one side of, above, below, &c.; e. g., haere ake to a hearer in front will mean come behind me: to a person behind, it will signify come to my front.

N.B.—Iho does not seem to have any corresponding opposite to this meaning of ake.

Sometimes, also, ake is employed to designate a motion by another towards some place with which the speaker is in connexion; e. g.,

Under these two last rules should, perhaps, be mentioned the following examples:

Note 1.—There are other subordinate meanings of ake and iho, of which examples have been given under the adverbs, and which do not, we think, require any further notice.

{90}Note 2.Ake and iho are often used after verbs, in a manner somewhat corresponding to that of the verbal particles. (vid. verbs. S.)

Ai is a particle of great use. It is chiefly employed as a substitute for the relatives who, which, what, and has reference to the time, place, manner, cause, means, intention, &c., of an action; as in the following examples:

Occasionally, however, it is heard as a simple expletive; e. g.,

2ndly. It is employed with the verbs to denote a sequence and, occasionally, an opposition of action, and might be translated by "and then," "to," and sometimes "but."

Sometimes, especially at Taupo, and, we understand, at the East Cape, ai is often used where the sequence or opposition of {91}action is but faintly, if at all, expressed. The following is correct in Waikato: E pa, kei hea tetahi wahi mo matou? kokoa kotoatia ai e koe te whenua nei, friend where is there a portion for us? why you have monopolized the whole of the land.

Note 1.—The place of ai may be often supplied by nei, na, or ra; e. g., koia ahau i haere mai nei.

Note 2.Ai is often erroneously omitted and erroneously introduced by foreigners, and those who wish to propound a statement accurately will do well to observe its use.

For ai, as used in connexion with the verbal particles, and the verbs. (See Syntax.)

Ano. This is a particle much used in assertions and replies. Its meaning will vary with that of the word to which it is postfixed.

It is used in combination with other particles, as follows:

Ano, in the beginning of sentences, seems with Ngapuhi to admit of a wider application than what is generally heard in Waikato; e. g., Ano ka tae ki te whare, and when he came to the house.

N.B.—No, also, with the same people, seems to admit of a somewhat similar application.

Ra is a particle corresponding in its use with nei and ra, and is frequently used to supply the place of the relative which; e. g.,

It is sometimes used in commands and energetic sentences, for Then.

Often in replies; E pai ana? Ae ra.

Koa is a particle used mostly in correcting, &c., another speaker or oneself:

It is difficult to define its meaning in the following phrases:

Tena }
  & koa, shew it here, or give it to me.

U is often used as a mere expletive. Sometimes it has force in exculpatory sentences; e. g.,

Note.—Though often used as an expletive, u will not, however, admit of being thrust into every sentence. Some foreigners seem peculiarly fond of using it. The following use of it is, at least in Waikato, erroneous: "A he tangata nui hoki a Hone, he rangatira hoki u a ratou." We are unable, we confess, to state the meaning of this last clause. The speaker, perhaps, intended the preposition no by u a, "a chief of their party."

Hoki; Some of the uses of hoki have been inserted under the adverbs. We shall give a brief view of the principal of them here. Its more general uses are, also, for, because:

This form we approve much of for expressing the following: "for the death of the Lord Jesus Christ," kua mate nei hoki, &c., i. e., inasmuch as, &c.

Kau; Riri kau, angry without cause.



Me, while; Me te hongi, me te tangi, and saluting, and crying; i. e., while saluting he is crying.

With; [28] E mahi ana me te whakaaro ano ki te utu, he is working, and is at the same time mindful of payment.

As; Me koutou hoki i wakarere i to koutou kainga, as ye also left your country.

{ o }
Me & mua, as formerly.
Me mua,[29] idem.

As far as; Me konei, me Waitemata, as far as from here to Waitemata.

If; Me he mea e pai ana, if he is willing. Me i kahore koe, if it had not been for you.

Ma, and, (a numeral conjunction.) vid. numerals, page 24.

{96}Mei, (Waikato) inasmuch as, as you may judge from, (vid. hoki. Same as ina hoki of Ngapuhi.)

Koia, therefore; koia i riri ai, therefore was he angry.

Na and a. These particles are of very great use in Maori. They correspond very closely with particle vāhv of Hebrew, and may be recognised in our translations as occupying the place of and, then, therefore, but, &c. Those who have not access to Professor Gesenius' Hebrew Lexicon, will, we are sure, read with pleasure his remarks upon its parallel in Hebrew. "It was a part of the simplicity of ancient language to mark merely the connexion of ideas, without expressing those nice distinctions of thought, which are designated by the use of causal, adversative, disjunctive, and other conjunctions. The prefix vahv retains this variety of signification, though other more definite conjunctions are also in use." This is precisely the case with Maori.

Ina, ua, (ana, Waikato) when; Ina korero ahau, when I speak.

If, (occasionally,) chiefly in cases in which contingency is attached to when:

Heoi (Ngapuhi), and heoti (Waikato), is a particle which corresponds sometimes with a, and na, in its uses. It generally, however, implies opposition, and might be translated by but, &c. Sometimes also, it has the meaning of so, then, and sometimes, (particularly in Waikato,) it is, in the end of sentences, redundant.

Ara, and then, &c.; e. g.,

Note.—This particle is very often used as an adverb for videlicet, forsooth, &c.


Mo, } reira.
No, for that cause, therefore.[30]
Otira, }
Ia, but, and nevertheless.
Atiia, (Waikato)
Huatu, } All these belong to
Kaore, and kahore, the adversative class,
Tena ko tenei, and denote but with
Tena, } (sometimes) some peculiarity
Ko, however of the
E ngari, } (sometimes) meaning and
E rangi, construction which
E ngaro, can only be learned
E ao ia, by practice.

Note.—Ahakoa will almost always precede in the sentence, e. g., The following "though we were sinners he loved us," should thus be rendered ahakoa hara noa tatou arohaina ana tatou e ia.

Following are a few examples of phrases which supply the place of conjunctions:

The particle ai is very useful in supplying the place of conjunctions. (Vid. our remarks on it.)

[28]  This particle will often supply a good substitute for with, when it denotes connexion, &c., a meaning which we believe to be but seldom expressed by ki. (vid. prepositions, page 55.)

[29]  Some foreigners, we observe, use me i mua; this, however, is decidedly erroneous.

[30]  The learned student will, however, notice that these words, as well as keia, are only prefixed to conclusions which are the natural and necessary effect of a preceding proposition. For example, we might use mo reira, &c., in such a sentence as the following: "Men are sinners, therefore men are exposed to the wrath of God:" because the preceding proposition is clearly a cause of the latter.

We could not, however, use any of them in such propositions as the following: "the Tohungas are liars, therefore the New Zealander listens to liars;" "the Sun shines, therefore the sun is a luminous body;" "man is an animal, therefore man has sensation;" because it would not be true to say, that, because the Tohunga is a liar, he is therefore listened to; because the sun shines it is luminous; or, because man is an animal he has sensation.

Wherever, then, the connection with the preceding proposition is either accidental or abstract, we must have recourse to other words, such as na, a, ra, pea, &c., and these are largely used in our translations. (vid. Mat. 5, 37—24—42, and N. T. passim.)

The affirmative particles ina and ae ra will often supply a good substitute, and will perhaps be logically correct. For the conclusion is the proposition that we in principio affirm to be true, and having proved it, we then authoritatively pronounce it to be so. (vid. our remarks on ae, &c., note, under adverbs of affirmation.)



Maori abounds in interjections. The following are the most common. It will be seen in this part of speech that there is a considerable variation in the different tribes.


Exclamations made when it has been found that the speaker was correct, (corresponding to ah, you see! yes, to be sure, &c.) Na ra nei? Arără! haka! (Waikato,) aheiha (Ngapuhi,) ae ra hoki. That expressive of gratification at some misfortune having befallen another; Kaitoa!

Besides these there are phrases which are often used as interjections; e. g.,

Maori delights in interjectional and ironical sentences, and the student who desires to be a good speaker should pay them much attention, and study also to catch the tone of voice, &c.

Some, who have not noticed them, have turned an exclamation into a question, and thus altered the meaning of the sentence. "How many pigs of John have better food than I!" we have heard thus translated, E hia ranei nga poaka a Hone he pai ke ta ratou kai i taku, &c.? The translation here obviously differs from the original. It should have been, Ano te tini, or tini noa iho, or ka tae te tini, or kia tini, na, (or ano) te tini, or he tini nga poaka, &c.

And here we may observe that, in translating from another tongue into Maori, it would be perverting all use of language to render by merely a verbal correspondence, without any regard to the meaning; and that, in these idiomatic phrases, it would be best, unless we wish to establish the maxim of the French statesman,[31] "that language was merely intended to {101}conceal our feelings," to make our author employ those corresponding expressions in Maori which he would most probably have used had he been speaking in that language.

We may observe, in conclusion, that Maori has no good form for such optative interjections as would that, &c. There is, it is true, a kind of substitute; but it cannot be expressed by our present alphabet. It is formed by a sharp smack of the tongue against the palate, and na pronounced after it. The best form, for the present, is, perhaps, me i, with a peculiar tone of voice; e. g., Me i kite ahau ia ia! If I had but seen him! or would that I had, &c.

[31]  The Abbé Talleyrand.



Before we proceed to the consideration of the Syntax of Maori, it will be necessary 1st. to explain some terms which we shall be obliged to employ, and 2ndly, to make a few remarks on the general features of Maori sentences. Some further remarks on this subject, we shall reserve till we come to treat on the verbs.

The subject of a proposition is that concerning which anything is affirmed or denied. The predicate is that which is so affirmed or denied of the subject. Thus, in the following sentence, Kua mate a Hone, John has died, Hone is the subject, and mate is the predicate.

Note.—We can scarcely recognize the verbal particles as copulas. We believe that their exclusive use is, to denote time.

Propositions, or sentences, we divided (page 37) into simple and compound. Another division is here necessary; viz., into complex and incomplex. An incomplex proposition is that whose subject and predicate are simple terms; e. g., He hoiho tenei, this is a horse.

{103}A complex proposition is that which contains some qualifying, or otherwise modifying, term in connexion with either subject or predicate; e. g., I mate a Hone ki reira. Ki reira, here, qualifies the predicate mate. He tokomaha nga Pakeha i Akarana, many are the foreigners in Auckland. Nga Pakeha i Akarana is the subject, and tokomaha the predicate.

He aroha no te Atua i ora ai tatou. This placed in due order, is "I ora ai tatou, he aroha no te Atua," we having been saved was a love of God. Here, I ora ai tatou is the subject.

Ko tou utu tena mo to hanganga i te whare? Is that your payment for your having built the house? Here, we conceive, ko tou utu mo to hanganga i te whare is the subject, and tena the predicate.

In examining the nature of Maori propositions, the student will soon notice that they are characterized by a remarkable brevity and abruptness, as well as by the frequent occurrence of ellipses. As a New Zealander is generally unequal to a train of consecutive thought, so also is his language inadequate to exhibit with accuracy the various processes of the civilized intellect, such as comparing, abstracting, &c., or indeed any ideas beyond the simple and monotonous details of his daily life. It is, if we may so speak, an animated sketching, intended for general effect, the more delicate lines being but faintly touched.

The student has already seen that Maori is defective in particles of illation, comparison, and copulation. The want of a verb substantive, which is so useful as a copula in other languages, will often, where accuracy is desired, cause both clumsiness and obscurity of construction.

The process by which a New Zealander constructs his sentences, is very similar to that of a child who is just beginning to speak. For example: if the latter wishes to express, "Is that a horse?" "Give me some bread," he will, most probably, say "a horse that?" "me bread." He has the ideas of himself and bread, and, by pronouncing the one in immediate succession after the other, attempts to convey the idea of their mutual connexion. So also will Maori, when it wishes to express the dependence of two or more ideas on each other, place them in close connexion, as distinct existences, and leave the hearer to deduce their intended relations. From hence it may, a priori, be collected. 1st. That Maori inclines to the substantive form. 2ndly, That it {104}will have a peculiar tendency to the indicative mode of statement. 3rdly. That it delights in short sentences. 4thly. That it will often, in consequence of the frequent occurrence of ellipses, present constructions which will appear strange to the student of only polished languages, and even occasionally seem to defy analysis. 5thly, That the clauses of the sentence, will, like its words, be often thrown together without any connecting particles, and that we shall often notice in their construction a frequent occurrence of epanorthosis.

On some of these heads we shall have to remark hereafter. The last-mentioned feature is, however, of such importance in the investigation of some of the difficult points of Maori, that we must beg the student's leave to bring it here prominently before his notice.

Epanorthosis is a figure of frequent occurrence in all languages, but particularly in those of the East. It is "the qualifying a former clause by the addition of another"[32] e. g., Ka tae te hohoro o ta tatou kai, te pau! what great haste our food has made; (I mean) the being consumed. Here te pau, is a clause qualifying the preceding; e rua tahi enei, he roa kau, there are two here, nothing but long; ringihia mai, kia nohinohi, pour me out some, let it be little, (i. e., pour me out a little); e rite tahi ana ia kia koe, te ahua, he is like you, (I mean,) the countenance; no reira a Ngatihau i tino mau ai, te karakia ai, that was the cause why Ngatihau were quite established, (I mean,) the not adopting Christianity. I riri au kia ia, kihai nei i whakaaro, I was angry with him, (I mean,) he did not exercise thought in that matter. Ko te tangata tenei, nana nga kakano, this is the man, his are the seeds; (i. e., this is the person whose are, &c.) He aha tau e mea, what is yours (actively) (I mean,) are doing? i. e., what are you doing? Haere ana Hone, me tana hoiho. Ka puta pea tena ki raro, e tihore ana. So John started and his horse. He has perhaps reached to the northward, (I mean,) is {105}peeling, (i. e., going along at a peeling, or rapid rate).

6thly. The student may be prepared to find the defect of the verb substantive supplied in various ways in Maori—by the article, the pronoun, the preposition, the adverb, and the verbal particles. Instances of ellipsis he will find in almost every page—ellipsis of the verb, of the noun, of the pronoun, &c., and, particularly, in our illustration of the preposition ki.

As distinctions between gender, number, case, and person, are very rare in Maori, and as, moreover, a main business of syntax consists in the adjusting of their several claims, we may hope that our work here will be neither complicated, nor extended.

[32]  "Est sui ipsius quasi revocatio, qua id, quod dictum est, e vestigio corrigitur."—Glass. edit Dathe, page 1350.



1. Ko is never used before appellatives without either te, te tahi, and its plural e tahi, or one of the possessive pronouns intervening, and it is almost always found to occupy the first place in the sentence; e. g.,

2. In this position a very common use of it is, to imply the verb substantive.

3. The article he, it will be seen, does not require its help for such a purpose; e. g., he rakau tenei, this is a tree; he mate toku, a sickness is mine, i. e., I am sick.

4. All the functions of a (vid. page 13) are performed by ko, when the noun, &c., to which it is prefixed, precede in the sentence; e. g.,

5. Sometimes it will be found in other parts of the sentence, (a) when the terms, of which the sentence is composed, are convertible,[33] or are intended, at {107}least, to be represented as similar; e. g., ko te timunga atu o konei ko te pakeketanga o waho, the ebbing of the tide from here is low water outside.

(b) Sometimes, also, when there are two subjects of which the same thing is affirmed, ko will be prefixed to both; e. g.,

6. It will be seen in the above example that ko will sometimes represent and; e. g., e takoto nei ko te pihi ko te poro, it lies here, both the piece, and the end (of the bar of soap.)

7. Very frequently, also, ko may be denominated "the article of specification and emphasis;" e. g., Noku tena paraikete, that blanket is mine; ko taku paraikete tena, that is my blanket. The former of these two sentences implies that the blanket is his property; the latter denotes the same thing, with some further specification; as being, for example, one that had been previously described, worn, &c.

Again, ko Hone i haere, John went.

Here also, there is, we think, a difference. The latter sentence merely says that John went; the former that John, as contradistinguished from some one else, was the person who went; literally, it was John (who) went.

8. Sometimes also, in animated description, ko will follow the verb; e. g., na ka hinga ko Haupokia, na ka hinga ko Ngapaka, then fell Haupokia, then fell Ngapaka.

9. Ko will generally be prefixed to the subject,[34] {108}e. g., ko ta te tangata kai he poaka, he riwai, he aha, he aha, the food for man is pork, potatoes, et cætera, et cætera; ko Oropi te whenua taonga, Europe is the land of property.

N.B.—There are some exceptions to this rule, especially when tenei, &c., are employed. (vid. etiam rule 5.)

10. Ko is always prefixed to every title or name of men or things which stands alone without the verb; e. g.,

Note.—Occasionally we meet with an exception to this rule, in emphatic, elliptical, and complementary clauses; e. g., in taunting; tou ngene, your ngene[35]; taku tirohanga, my looking, i. e., when I looked. Ka whati tera, te pa, that was discomfitted, the pa. Vid. our illustrations of Epanorthosis in preliminary remarks, page 104.

11. It is sometimes used in elliptical sentences like the following: E pai ana ano; ko te maeke ra, we are willing; but the cold, i. e., we should be glad to go only for the cold; Haere ana ia, ko tona ko tahi, he went by himself alone.

Note.—It may be seen in the above example that ko is sometimes used for but; so also in the following: Me he mea ko te Paki, e rongo ratou; ko tenei e kore e rongo, if it had been Paki they would have listened, but as for this, they will not listen.

12. In connexion with the two preceding rules, we may observe, that ko is almost always prefixed to the nominative absolute; e. g., ko taua kupu au, e kore e rangona, as for that word of yours, it will not be listened to.

N.B.—In some districts the ko is omitted under this rule.

{109}13. Nga we have designated as the plural of the definite article page 12. The student will therefore remember that it does not recognize the rules a, b, c, d, e, mentioned under te—pages 10 and 11.

14. The omission of the article.

There are some cases in which no article is prefixed to the noun, (a) when the noun follows immediately after the verb; e. g., Whakamate tangata, murderous; (vid. compound words page 17.) Haere po, go by night.

(b) Nouns preceded by the adverbial particles a and tua; e. g., tatau a tangata, count man by man.

(c) When a possessive pronoun is associated with the noun; ho mai toku kakahu, give me my garment.

Note.—It is, however, highly probable that the singular possessive pronouns, (vid. page 29.) are compounded of the article te, and the plural form oku, &c., and that oku, aku, ona, &c., are compounded of o and a, and the personal pronouns ahau, koe, ia: these pronouns assuming the forms of oku, ou, ona, &c., when in connection with o, and a; in the same way as they adopt the form of mona, nona, &c., when in combination with the prepositions mo, no, &c., &c. (vid. our remarks on noku and maku page 22, and tenei, &c., page 31.) Sometimes, indeed, we find the singular possessive pronouns thus resolved; e. g., kei tenei taha oku, on this side of me. If it had not been for nei the speaker would have said toku taha. The nei however attracts the te, and thus resolves toku into its component parts.

15. He differs in its uses from te tahi and e tahi.

(a) He, of itself, often implies the verb substantive. (Vid. rule 3).

(b) He is very seldom found after a preposition. It is almost always found in the nominative case after the substantive verb; e. g., he tangata tenei; he kino kau koutou.

Thus it would not be correct to say, I kainga, e he kuri, it was eaten by a dog; hei tiki i he rakau, to fetch a stick. It should be e te kuri, i te tahi rakau.

Note.He is sometimes found after ma and na, e. g., nana i homai he paraikete i mahana ai au. We believe, however, that {110}this exception to rule (b) is only apparent, and that he waka, here, is the nominative case. (Vid. Verbs.)

16. A. A strange use of a is sometimes met with in Waikato. When two nouns follow each other in apposition, a is sometimes prefixed to the latter; e. g., Ka noho atu tera i te kai mana a te kahawai, he indeed will remain away from the food for him!—the kahawai!

E hoe ana ki Akarana, ki te kai mana a te paraoa, he is paddling to Auckland for food for himself—flour.

Sometimes it occurs in sentences like the following, Na wai tenei haere a te po? Whose going is this, (I mean,) in the night? i. e., who ever goes by night?

(b) A personal pronoun following the verb in the nominative will very seldom take a before it; e. g., Whakangaromia iho ratou. It would not be correct to say a ratou.

To this rule there are a few exceptions, e. g., tu ana ratou, a ia tangata a ia tangata, they stood each man.

(c) Proper names are not subject to the above rule; e. g., it would not be correct to say, Whakangaromia iho Ngatipaoa. It should be a Ngatipaoa.

(d) When a question is asked in reference to a preceding remark, a will precede the pronoun, e. g., E ki na koe. A wai? A koe ra, You assert—who? You, forsooth.

17. The articles, definite and indefinite, are always repeated in Maori, as in French, before every substantive in the sentence; e. g., Ko te whakapono te take o te aroha, raua ko te pai, faith is the root of love, and good works.

18. Adjectives used substantively require the article; e. g., He tika rawa te he ki a ia, the wrong is perfectly right in his opinion.

{111}19. Frequently, also, the article is prefixed to what would be a participle in English; e. g., Kei te noho, he is at the sitting, i. e., he is sitting; ka tata te maoa, the being cooked is near.

Note.—It is, however, probable that all such words as noho, &c., should, in constructions like the above, be regarded as substantives. We shall have to treat on this hereafter. (Vid. Verbs.)

Note 2.—Further remarks on the articles we shall reserve to the next chapter.

[33]  Convertible terms, we need not remind the learned reader, are those, the meaning of which is so similar, that they may be substituted one for the other.

[34]  The learned student will here see that Maori has, in this respect, the advantage over Hebrew; confusion often occurring in that language from the want of some means for determining which is the subject and which the predicate.

[35]  Ngene is a scrofulous tumour.



§ 1.—Nouns in Apposition.—These were partly considered in the last chapter, and we now proceed to offer further remarks respecting them:—

When one or more nouns follow another in apposition, and are equally definite in meaning, the same article that is prefixed to the first will be prefixed to all the rest; e. g., He tangata kino koe, he tangata kohuru, you are a bad man, a murderer; ko au tenei, ko tou matua, this is I, your father; mau mai taku pu, tera i roto i te whare, bring here my gun, that in the house.

The following sentences are erroneous:—Tenei ahau, ko to koutou hoa, te mea nei, this is I your friend, who says, &c.; Tiakina to tatou kainga, ko Waikato, take care of our settlement, Waikato; the ko should have been omitted in the former sentence: instead of the ko in the latter, we should have had a. Proper names, and pronouns, will only take their proper articles; e. g., Nohea tenei Kingi a Parao? whence was this King Pharoah?

N.B.—There are exceptions to these rules. Some of them will be mentioned under the next head.

§ 2.—The preposition, which is prefixed to the first of two or more nouns in apposition, will be prefixed to all the rest; e. g., Naku tenei pukapuka, na tou hoa, na Tarapipipi, this letter is mine, (i. e., was written by me,) your friend's, Tarapipipi's: kei nga Pakeha ta matou whakaaro, ta nga tangata Maori, {113}with the Europeans are the sentiments of us, of the New Zealanders.

The same usage holds in the vocative case, E hoa, E Hone, Friend John.

The following examples will shew that this rule, which seems as yet to have escaped the notice of foreigners, is worthy of attention; a ka kite i a Hone te tamaiti a Hemi, and he saw John, the son of James. The meaning of this, as it stands, is, the son of James saw John. Kei a koutou, nga tangata Maori, in the opinion of you the New Zealanders. This literally means, the New Zealanders are with you. In the first of these two sentences it should be, i te tamaiti, &c., in the second, kei nga tangata Maori. Again; kua kainga e koutou, te kura, it was eaten by you, the school. The literal meaning of this is, the school have been eaten by you. Kua kainga e koutou ko te kura, it has been eaten by you the school. As it stands, it means, it has been eaten by you and the school. Again, if we were to say, "Na Ihowa to tatou Atua, nana hoki tatou i whakaora," we should imply that our God was made by Jehovah, and that it was he who saved us. It should be, Na to tatou Atua.

There are however occasional exceptions to this rule, which it will often be useful to remember; (a) when brevity of diction is desired both preposition and article will be sometimes omitted before the second substantive; e. g., i rokohanga atu e ahau ki Mangere, kainga o te Tawa, (he) was overtaken by me at Mangere, (the) settlement of Tawa; i rongo ahau ki a Koiunuunu, hungawai o Panaia, I heard it from Koiunuunu (the) father-in-law of Panaia; na te Riutoto, whaea o Paratene, it belongs to Riutoto (the) mother of Broughton. When a pause, also, is made between the two substantives, the preposition will be sometimes omitted before the second; e. g., kei te kainga o te Wherowhero, te rangatira o Waikato, at the Settlement of Wherowhoro, the Chief of Waikato. E pa, kua kite ahau i a koe—to mamingatanga hoki ki a au! Friend, I have found you out, your bamboozling of me forsooth.

N.B.—This distinction is very similar to that which obtains in English for the regulating of the sign of the possessive case. In such sentences, for example, as the following, "for David, my servant's sake," we should always have the sign of the possessive annexed to the latter noun; because it follows the preceding one in close and unbroken succession. In the following however—"This is Paul's advice, the Christian Hero, and great Apostle of the Gentiles," the sign of the possessive is omitted; because the connexion between Paul and hero, is not so immediate as in the preceding example. So, also, in Maori; when the latter noun {114}follows in a complementary clause, as descriptive, or explanatory of the former, and has thus a pause, or comma, intervening, it may occasionally dispense with the preposition by which the former noun is preceded.

§ 3. And we may here state, that clauses in epanorthosis will frequently reject those rules of government which they, under other circumstances, would have recognised; and that they will often rather partake of the nature of an exclamation, (vid. chapter 14, § 10, note.) Thus in the example just adduced, to mamingatanga is not in the objective case, as is koe in the clause preceding. It would appear that after the speaker had said, Kua kite ahau i a koe, he recollected himself, and exclaimed, in explanation,—to mamingatanga hoki. In a leisurely constructed sentence he would most probably have said, "Kua kite ahau i a koe, i to," &c. Again, in the first example of epanorthosis (page 104), Ka tae te hohoro o ta tatou kai, te pau! a native would not say, o te pau, as strict grammar requires; but rather puts te pau in the form of an exclamation.

§ 4. The answer to a question will always, in its construction, correspond to the question; e. g., Na wai i tango? Na Hone, Who took it? John. I a wai taku pu? I a Hone, With whom was my gun? with John.

§ 5. There is no form in Maori corresponding to that contained in the following expressions, "Land of Egypt," "River Euphrates." To translate these by "Whenua o Ihipa," &c., would be to represent Egypt, and Euphrates, as individuals possessing that land, and that river. To render them by apposition would we fear not much improve our Maori diction; (though it would certainly be more in accordance with Maori analogy.) Here, therefore, necessity must make a law for herself, and recognize the former mode of construction as legitimate. At the same time, it is desirable that it should be adopted as seldom {115}as possible. Thus, in the following: "Mount Horeb," "Mount Sinai," &c., we should approve of "Mount" being rendered as a proper name, to which it closely approximates in English, and for which we think we may claim the permission of the original. We therefore approve of those phrases being rendered, "Maunga Horepa," "Maunga Oriwa," &c. Lastly; such forms as "the book of Genesis," &c., should never we think, be rendered by te pukapuka o Kenehi, &c.; for a native will, thereby, be led to believe that Genesis wrote the book. The difficulty, however, may be here easily obviated: for book may be altogether omitted, and "ko Kenehi" simply employed—a form, by the way, which is adopted by the Septuagint.

§ 6. The possessive case.—This case is much used in Maori. It is employed often to denote intensity; e. g., Ko to Ngatimaniapoto tangata nui ha ia! Oh, he is Ngatimaniapoto's great man; i. e., he is a very great man in that tribe.

It will, also, in some instances supersede the nominative or objective of the person; e. g., the following sentence is erroneous: kihai ahau i pai kia whakakahoretia ia, I was not willing to refuse him; this as it stands, means to despise or make a cipher of. It should have been, kia whakakahoretia tana; negative his. (request sub.)

§ 7. It is sometimes useful for denoting the time from which an action has commenced; e. g., kahore i kai, o to matou uranga mai ano, we have not eaten since we landed; Moe rawa atu ki Waitoke. Te haerenga atu o hea? We slept at Waitoke. From what place did you start? Te taenga mai o Hone, kihai i rongo. Te tononga iho o te ata, when John came here we would not listen to him; (though) he continued to ask from the break of day.

The possessive form is often used in predication; vid. syntax of verbs.

{116}§ 8. Often the possessive preposition is used where, in English, a different one would be employed; e. g., no Otahuhu tenei ara, this path (leads) to Otahuhu; kahore he wai o roto, there is no water in it. Ka kainga e to matua tane te roi o te tuatanga[36] ki te kainga tapu. Apopo ake ka kainga e te Ariki te roi o tana tamaiti, the fern root of the tuatanga is eaten by the father. Next day the fern of his child is eaten by the Ariki (head chief).

§ 9. A word in the possessive case occurring with another twice repeated, will generally follow after the first of such words; e. g., ki te tahi taha ona, ki te tahi taha, at either side of him; lit. at one side of him, at one side. Sometimes other words will be found to intervene between the possessive case and the word that governs it: e. g., ko nga tangata katoa tenei o Waimate,—here are all the men of Waimate.

§ 10. The word by which a possessive case is governed, is often not expressed in Maori; e. g., ka tokowha o matou ka mate, four of us have died; e wha nga rau o te kupenga a Hone, there were four hundred (fishes sub.) of the net of John; kei hea to Hone?—where is John's? (garment sub.)

§ 11. In the northern part of this island when a noun is placed in immediate connexion with such pronouns as noku, moku, &c., it will sometimes omit the article before it; e. g., no ratou Atua a Ihowa, whose God is the Lord; ka meinga mona wahi, appoint him a portion.

Note.—This form is rare in Waikato.

§ 12. When two substantives meet together, one of which denotes the material of which the other consists, or some quality belonging to it, the word denoting the material, quality, &c., will simply follow {117}the other as part of a compound word; e. g., he whare papa, a board house; ika moana, a sea fish; he repo hurakeke, a flax swamp; he oranga patunga, the survivors from a slaughter; he tangata kupu rau, a man of a hundred words; i. e., a deceitful person.

§ 13. Not unfrequently, when some circumstance or quality, is attributed to a person, it will be simply affirmed to be him; e. g., He uaua kiore koe, you are a rat's strength; he taringa whiti rua (or tua,) koe, you are an erring ear; i. e., one who does not hear correctly; he kaone tenei, this (heap of potatoes) is a gown; i. e., to purchase a gown; he aha koe? what are you? (i. e., what are you come for?) Ko au ra ko ia, I am he; i. e., he and I are of the same mind, &c.; ko taku iwituaroa tena, that is my backbone; (a form for making a thing sacred.)

Note.—This mode of predication seems to have been much in use amongst the Hebrews; vid. Gen. 41, 26. The seven good kine (are) seven years, and chap. 46, 34, "Every shepherd is an abomination;" "That rock was Christ;" "This is my body;" "Ye were once darkness," &c.

§ 14. Another particular, also, in which Maori will be found to resemble Hebrew is, the frequent substitution of the substantive for the adjective. Thus, we frequently hear, he kakakore koe, you are weakness; he kino te rangi nei, the sky is badness, &c., neither must the student imagine as have some in the interpretation of the Scriptures, that this mode of construction is always emphatic.

§ 15. The objective case almost always follows the verb; e. g., ka ngau i a au, he will bite me; except sometimes in sentences in which na, ma, &c. are used; e. g., nana ahau i tiki ake, he fetched me; noku ka mate.

Note.—This form will be considered hereafter, (vid. Verbs).

Sometimes a noun, which is plural in meaning, will take the form of the singular; e. g., ko nga tamariki {118}a Kaihau hei tamaiti ki a te Katipa, the children of Kaihau are a child to Katipa; i. e., stand in the relation of children.

§ 16. Compound Words.—A word in connection with a compound word will often be governed by one of the simples of which the latter consists; e. g. Kai atawhai i a koe; one to take care of you; koe here is governed by atawhai; ki te whenua kai mau, to the land of food for you; mau, here is influenced by kai.

§ 17. A verb can always be changed into a personal agent by prefixing kai; e. g., tiaki ia, to guard; kai tiaki ia, a guard.

§ 18. On the prefixing and omitting of the article te to proper names;

To lay down any exact rules respecting this subject is, we fear, impossible: neither, indeed, is it very necessary; as genuine Maori names are being fast exchanged for those of foreigners. There are, however, a few particulars which deserve notice. (a) A simple substantive, adopted as a proper name, may, or may not have te prefixed; chiefly as caprice regulates; (b) If, however, the noun be in the plural number te is never prefixed; e. g. Ngakainga; (c) A verb and words compounded of verbs, will generally omit it. e. g. Tangi: (d) Numerals, as far as ten, will generally take it: (e) The proper names which omit te will be found perhaps to be nearly double in number those which take it.

Note.—The prefixes rangi and ngati belong chiefly, the former to the names of females, the latter to the names of tribes.

On the distinction between o and a;

§ 19. This very useful feature of Maori does not seem to be clearly recognized in some parts of New Zealand. It obtains, however, in the other islands of these seas, and may be satisfactorily shewn, even now to exist in those parts of this island in which it would be least expected: for example; all will admit that {119}naku i patu, mine was the having struck; i. e., I struck (him), is different from noku i patu; because I struck him; and that ma te aha? will signify, by what means? and mo te aha? for what reason?

The words in which distinction obtains are mo and ma, no and na, o and a, and their compounds, mona and mana, nona and nana, toku and taku: the first and leading distinction between these two forms is (a) that o implies a passive meaning, a an active. Thus, he patu moku is, a striking for me, i. e., for me to suffer; he patu maku is an instrument for me to strike with, (b) o also implies the inherency, and propriety of a quality or thing, as well as the time and moral cause of an action.

Hence it will, almost always, be prefixed to the members of the body, to land enjoyed by inheritance, to sickness, the productions of nature, such as fruits, &c., &c. Thus, we seldom hear, āku ringaringa; nāku tena oneone; he mate nāku; o is almost always employed. Again, we always hear, noku i haere mai nei, since I came here; mou i tutu, because you were disobedient; nona te he, his was the error.

(c.) O is always employed in talking of garments and houses, which are in wear, use, &c. Thus, naku tena whare means, I built that house, Noku, &c., I dwell in it.

§ 20. A is prefixed to the agent, and implies that the noun, which is connected with that agent, is either an act of it, or an instrument with which, or sometimes a thing upon which the action is performed, such as tools, cultivations, food, words, &c., (as kupu, korero; because they are fashioned by the tongue); e. g., taku toki; naku tena mara, maku te kupu ki mua; kai mau.

§ 21. When the action is intransitive, o is generally employed; e. g. te toronga atu o te ringa o Hone; toku haerenga. To this rule, however, there are many exceptions.

{120}Note.—Visitors, slaves, or servants, children; (i. e. own children; or children of whom the individual has the management), husband, (tane), wife, (wahine), will take the a; when, however, hoa, ariki, rangatira, matua, whanaunga, are used, o will be prefixed. Reo also will take o; (the voice, being a part of the man). Oranga, also though it applies to food, will take o after it; e. g. kai hei oranga mo matou, food to support us. In the following passage "nona te whiunga i mau ai to tatou rongo," the chastisement of our peace was upon him, the o in the nona has, we think, supplied a more concise and clear rendering than could have been attained without it.—If it had been, "Nana te whiunga, &c.," we should have understood that it was he who inflicted, instead of suffered the chastisement. It should be remembered that there are two pronunciations of taku, and tana; viz., tăku, and tāku, tăna, and tāna; the short a corresponds to the o; the long a to the a of ma and na. Of tou, yours, there are also two pronunciations; viz., tou, and to, the former corresponds to the o of mona; the latter sometimes to the a of mana.

Note.—The to is very frequently used instead of the tou—chiefly in those parts of the sentence in which euphony requires that the sound should not be prolonged.

The importance of attending to these distinctions between the o and the a may be shewn by a few examples; he hangi mau, is an oven with which you may cook food; he hangi mou, is an oven in which you are to be cooked, and would be a most offensive curse; he taua maku is a party with which I may attack another; he taua moku, is a party come to attack me; te ngutu o Hone, is John's lip; te ngutu a Hone is his word, or report, &c.

[36]  The tua is the religious ceremony performed by the father, or the Ariki of the tribe, when the child was born, to remove the tapu from the mother and the settlement.



§ 1. Adjectives generally follow substantives; e. g., he tangata kohuru, a murderer. Sometimes, however, they will take the form of an adverb, and precede; e. g., homai katoa mai nga mea, give (me) all the things. Sometimes, also, they will take the form of a verb and precede; e. g., nui rawa taku riri, very great is my anger—or of a substantive; e. g., he nui taku riri, idem.

§ 2. The pronominal adjectives, tenei, &c., and taua will always precede; e. g., tena mea.

§ 3. Adjectives will generally take the form of the noun with which they are connected; i. e., if the noun be of the verbal form, so also will be the adjective; e. g., oranga tonutanga, eternal life; rerenga pukutanga, sailing hungry.

Note.—To this rule there are many exceptions. Thus, we have kainga kotahi, one eating; i. e., one meal; matenga nui, patunga tapu, whakamutunga pai, tikinga hangarau, korerotanga tuatahi. In many cases observation can alone determine when such forms are admissible. As a general rule, it would perhaps be correct to say that when the verbal noun is of very familiar use, so as almost to have its verbal character forgotten, or when some thing or single act, is spoken of, it will sometimes admit after it an adjective of the simple form. It will, we think, also be found that such common adjectives as nui, pai, katoa, and also the numerals most frequently follow in the simple form.

§ 4. Under other circumstances, the adjective will follow in the verbal form, especially when diversity {122}or a number of acts of the same kind, is intended. Thus, oku nohoanga katoa will mean all my settlements; aku nohoanga katoatanga, all the times in which I sit down. The following expressions are objectionable: korerotanga whakamutu, tirohanga atawhai, whakinga puku.

§ 5. It should be noticed, perhaps, here, that we sometimes find the verbal noun used as an adjective or participle, and with a passive meaning: e. g., he toki tua, is an axe to fell with; he toki tuakanga, an axe which has been used in felling; he mea whakakakuranga mai no tawahi, (clothes) worn abroad and sent here. Whakakahu would in this construction be seldom used. On the other hand we meet with pu whakamoe; gun taken to bed with you; poaka whangai, fed pig.

§ 6. Many adjectives to one substantive.—It is contrary to the genius of Maori to allow many adjectives to follow one substantive. When, therefore, it is desired to affirm many qualities of the same word, the word itself will be repeated before each adjective; e. g., a great and good man, would be thus rendered: he tangata nui, he tangata pai; or the adjectives will be converted into substantives, by taking the article he before them. Thus, the above sentence might be rendered: he nui, he pai tena tangata, he was a great, &c.; a large red blanket might be thus rendered: he paraikete nui, he mea whero. Sometimes the adjective will be resolved into the verb; "a great and terrible God," would be thus rendered; he Atua nui, e wehingia ana.

§. 7. The following are instances in which an adjective is made to qualify two substantives: ko te poaka raua ko te paraoa, he reka kau, pork and flour (they are both) sweet, or (a sweetness); he mea reka te poaka, he me reka te paraoa, idem. Tena koa etahi hate, etahi tarau hoki, kei nga mea pai: Shew some{123} shirts and some trousers; let them be good ones: i. e., shew some good shirts, &c.

§ 8. Sometimes the adjective will unexpectedly assume the form of a verb or substantive, e. g., kei ona kainga, e (or he,) maha, he is at his many settlements. The following form is heard at Taranaki: kia toru he ra, it will take three days. Sometimes adverbs are used as adjectives; e. g., he tohunga rawa, a great artist, &c., te tino tangata, the very individual. The following form in which the verb supplies the place of the adjective, is, we believe, in general use: a pouri ana o matou ngakau mo tenei patunga o matou ka rua; our hearts are dark at this second murder of our friends, lit., this murder of our friends, it is two.

Comparison of adjectives.—The comparative degree is denoted in various ways in Maori. (a) The first, and most common, is similar to that adopted in Hebrew; viz. by putting the preposition i (from) after the adjective; e. g., e kaha ana a Hone i a Pita, John is stronger than Peter. (b) Sometimes there is joined to the adjective some adverb of intensity; e. g., e kaha rawa ana a Hone i a Pita, John is much stronger, &c. (c) Sometimes it is denoted by the adjectives ngari, and rangi, the verb following in epanorthosis; e. g., e ngari a Hone i a Pita, e kaha ana.

(d.) Sometimes the comparative is denoted by some approbatory, and the positive by some disapprobatory term; e. g., e pai ana tenei paraikete, e kino ana tera, this blanket is good, that is bad. (e.) Sometimes the positive is put into the negative form, and the comparative into the affirmative; e. g., e ngari ano te patu i a au; aua e tangohia oratia taku kainga, it is better to kill me, do not take away my settlement while I live; i. e., I should rather die than have my possessions taken from me. E nui ana taku hara, e kore e taea te muru, my sin is greater than that it can be pardoned; lit. my sin is great, it cannot be pardoned. He hira {124}te hunga i a koe nei; e kore e ho atu e ahau nga Miriani ki a ratou, the people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their power.

(f.) Sometimes the positive is made antecedent, and the comparative consequent; e. g., me patu ano au ka riro ai toku kainga, you must kill me, and then take my possessions.

(g.) Following, are two modes of comparison which are sometimes met with: poka ke atu te pai o te ra tahi i ou whare i nga ra ko tahi mano, one day in thy courts is better than a thousand. Ma tenei e whakakoakoa ai a Ihowa tera atu i te koakoatanga ki te okiha, this shall please the Lord better than an ox.

Note.—These two forms are not much used in Waikato. The following is sometimes heard, but it is a weak mode of comparison: rere ke ana te pai o tenei i tera, the goodness of this is different from that.

(h.) A very common process for denoting an inferiority of degree, is to associate two contrary qualities: e. g., pai kino, indifferently good; roa poto, (long short,) of moderate length; mangu ma nei, (black white,) blackish.

(i.) The adverb tua prefixed to the adjective denotes a similar kind of comparison: e. g., tua riri, somewhat angry; tua pouri, rather dark. (k.) Sometimes comparison is implied by reduplication of one or more syllables: e. g., pouriuri, darkish (as in twilight). All adjectives which, in English, are preceded by some qualifying adverb: as somewhat, not very, moderately, as it were, &c., can be rendered into Maori by one, or other, of these three last methods.

The Superlative degree. Maori has no direct form to mark the superlative, but expresses it by various circumlocutions: (a.) by the definite article prefixed, with, or without some word of intensity: e. g., Ko au te kaumatua, I am the eldest son; ko te tino nohinohi {125}rawa tena, that is the least; ko te nui tenei o nga rakau katoa, this is the largest (lit. the large one) of all the trees. (b.) The form for the comparative sometimes necessarily implies the sense of the superlative: e. g., he tino mohio ia i nga tangata katoa, he is the most wise of all men.

(c.) Following are two other forms for denoting the superlative: e. g., e ngari a Hone e mohio ana; a, waiho ano i a Wiremu te tino mohio, John is better, he understands; but leave the great knowledge with William; or, whakarerea rawatia i a Wiremu, &c.

Sometimes a great degree of intensity is denoted by a repetition of the adjective, with a peculiarly prolonged sound of the first syllable; e. g., nūi, nui whakaharahara.



The particles prefixed to numbers.

Ko. § 1. This word will often, without te, precede tahi; e. g., toku ko tahi, myself alone; kia ko tahi, be one; i. e., pull together. When tahi is used as a substantive, it will generally take te; e. g., ko te tahi tenei, this is one (of them).

§ 2. The numerals between one and a hundred will seldom take any article; but rau and mano will take either te or he; e. g., he rau pea, it is perhaps a hundred; ko tahi te rau, or te mano. Sometimes the numerals lower than a 100 will take the article te, when the substantive is not expressed but understood; e. g., e taea e te tekau te whakanehenehe ki te hokorima? can the ten contend with the fifty?

§ 3. The simple numeral is mostly used in counting; e. g., tahi, rua, toru, one, two, three, &c. Often, however, the verbal particle ka is used in the same sense; ka tahi, ka rua, &c., it is one, there are two, &c.

§ 4. Ka, prefixed to the numeral, generally denotes the completion of a number; e. g., ka toru enei matenga oku i a koe, this is the third time I have been ill treated by you, i. e., this makes up the third, &c.

§ 5. E is a very frequent prefix of the numbers between one and ten. It differs from ka in that it does not so distinctly imply the completion of, or the {127}arriving at, a number, and that whereas ka will generally answer to the question, "How many have you counted, made, &c., e will be used in reply to "How many are there"? e. g., e hia ena kete? How many baskets are those? It would not however be generally correct to say, E hia ena kete ka oti? It should be ka hia. Again, ahea koe hoki mai ai? Ka rua aku wiki. When will you return? in two weeks' time. It should be kia rua nga wiki.

Note.—This distinction, however, does not hold invariably, &c.

§ 6. Kia.—For its uses vide verbal particles.

§ 7. Note.—The particles i and kua are occasionally found prefixed to the numerals. (Vide those particles, verbs.)

§ 8. The case and number following the numeral. In most instances, up to one hundred, the numeral will require no possessive case after it; e. g., a, ho mai ana e ratou, e ono nga kete, and they gave six baskets; lit. they were given by them, they were, (or are), six baskets.

§ 9. Beyond one hundred, however, a possessive case is very frequently employed; e. g., ko tahi mano o nga tau, one thousand years.

§ 10. When the noun is in the oblique case, the numeral will generally follow it; e. g., hei tapiri mo enei kete e wha, as an addition to these four baskets. When it is in the nominative the numeral will most frequently precede; e. g., e wha nga kete, there were four baskets.

§ 11. It will be noticed that tahi is sometimes postfixed to other numerals, and adjectives, without any variation of meaning; e. g., e rima tahi, five, turituri tahi, what a noise (you are making). Tahi will sometimes take a plural after it; ko tahi ona hoa, one were his companions; i. e., he had one companion.

§ 12. Sometimes, when it is desired emphatically to denote all the individuals, or items contained in a {128}certain number, the number will be repeated; e. g., hokorima hokorima iho, fifty fifty down; i. e., the whole fifty were killed; e wha, wha mai ano, four four to me; bring the whole four. In one instance, (viz., that of rua,) we have the first syllable reduplicated to denote both; e. g., e tika rurua ana ano, they are both right.

§ 13. Sometimes, in Waikato, we meet with an ironical use of numerals, corresponding to that in English, "six of one, and half a dozen of the other"; e. g., e whitu waru atu! they are seven eight other; e ngari a Hone, e pai ana—e wha atu i a Pita! he is four besides Peter; i. e., he is not better than Peter.

§ 14. On the Ordinals.—The student has seen (page 26) the three ways in which these may be formed.

§ 15. There are, however, some distinctions between tua and whaka, as prefixes, which deserve to be noticed. (1.) Tua is not frequently found prefixed to numerals beyond ten. (2.) Occasionally, also, a critical inquirer will, we think, detect a difference in the meaning of the two particles. Tua seems to denote the place, a thing, &c., occupies in a series or gradation; whaka, a fraction which, being added, makes the integer. Thus, in announcing a text, we might say "Kei te ono o nga upoko, kei te tuawha o nga rarangi," it is in the sixth chapter and fourth verse. We could not however, say Kei te whakawha o, &c. Again, a Native will say, Ko te tuahia tenei o nga whakatupuranga ka tae iho ki a koe? Ko te tekau, What number of generations is this that reaches down to you? answer, the tenth. Here the generations are represented as following in a regular succession to the tenth. If the reply were "Ko te whakatekau tenei," we should understand that it is one, which added to the other nine, will make it ten—a mode of expression which is sometimes substituted {129}for the following, "ko te whakakapi tenei o te tekau," this is one which fills up the place of the tenth. The word whakapu is often also used either to denote a tally, (or surplus one), or the one which completes the number; hei whakapu tenei mo aku riwai, this is a tally for; (or this completes the full number of) my potatoes.

Note.—In speaking of a tenth, or tithe, of property, we should prefer whakatekau to tuatekau; the former being a fractional tenth, the latter an ordinal.



§ 1. The personal pronouns follow the verb; e. g., e mea ana ahau.

§ 2. They are often also omitted after it; e. g., Ka tukua atu te purahorua, ka tae ki te pa, korerotia atu, Kia mohio i te taua e haere mai nei——na ka te whai e te pa. Na wai i haere, a; ka tae ki nga whakatakoto; ka pau te huaki, ka tangi te patu, ka whati tera, te pa; the messenger is sent (he) arrives at the pa (it) is told (them,) be on (your) guard against the hostile party (which) is approaching, so the pa then pursued. On then (they) proceeded, till (they) came to the ambush, the assault is made, the blow resounds, that flies, the pa. Sometimes, in Waikato, they are redundant; e. g., kei te kai taro mana, he is eating bread for himself. Examples however of this construction are not varied or frequent.

In Waikato the personal and possessive pronouns will frequently take the particle nge before them, but without any variation of meaning.

§ 3. It was observed (page 29) that there is no word in Maori to denote the pronoun it. Occasionally, however, that word will be designated by ia and its branches; e. g., waiho mana e rapu atu te tahi huarahi mona, let it (the axe,) search out a path for itself. This perhaps should be explained by prosopopœia. Sometimes also we hear the following: te paraoa raua {131}ko te poaka, flour and pork; nga toki ki a ratou whakatoki, nga kakahu ki a ratou whakakakahu, axes by themselves, garments by themselves.

§ 4. Often the singular and dual of the personal pronouns will be employed to denote a whole tribe, or company; e. g., naku tena, na te Urioteoro, that is mine, the Urioteoro's; i. e., the property of my tribe. Keihea taua? where are we two? i. e., where is our party, ko ta maua ki tena, ta te tangata Maori, that is a phrase of us (two) of the New Zealander, i. e., of the New Zealanders.

Note.—This form is often also used when the speaker wishes to propound some remark which would appear harsh if too personal; e. g., he aha kei a maua ko Hone, what is with me and John; i. e., oh, never mind John: of what importance is he?

Connected with this is a mode of phrase which we have been surprised to hear questioned by some who claim a high character as Maori scholars.

§ 5. A pronoun in the singular will often be made to refer to a noun in the plural; ko nga tangata tenei, nana nga tikaokao, this are persons, his are the fowls; nga tangata nona te kainga, the men his is the settlement, i. e., whose is, &c.; nga tangata nana i patu, the men his was the having struck; i. e., who struck. Tenei matou te noho atu nei, this is we, who am sitting towards you.

§ 6. It is a very common thing in Maori to put into the third person a pronoun which has reference to either the first or second; e. g., hei rama aha? tana koke noa atu,—nana tana rakau, a light for what purpose?his stumbling away—his is his own stick, i. e., "What do I want of light?—I can stumble out my way—I am accustomed to that kind of work;" ko te rangi mahi kai tenei ma tona tinana, this is the day for procuring food for his body; i. e., for ourselves; kei tena tangata pea, it rests perhaps with that individual; i. e., with you; tona tangata kaha ko koe, you are his strong man; i. e., what a very strong man you {132}are! (ironically); haere korua, e Hone, raua ko Hemi, go you (two) John, they two and James; i. e., go you and James.

This last form is, perhaps, peculiar to the Waikato District.

§ 7. When two or more individuals are connected in English by the conjunction and, they will very frequently be denoted by the dual or plural, of the personal pronoun of the more worthy person. For example, he and I are denoted by maua, John and James by Hone raua ko Hemi, John, James, and Luke, by Hone, ratou ko Hemi, ko Ruka.

In this construction the latter noun will be in the nominative, even though the preceding be in an oblique case; e. g., te atawhai o te Atua, raua ko tana tamaiti, ko Ihu Karaiti, the mercy of God and His Son Jesus Christ. Here, though Atua is in the possessive case, raua and tamaiti, and Ihu Karaiti are in the nominative.

This strange, though in Maori very common, mode of construction cannot, we believe, be explained in any other way than by an epanorthosis. (Vide page 114, § 3.)

§ 8. The noun belonging to the pronoun is often omitted, especially in talking of garments; e. g., keihea toku? Where is mine; i. e., my garment. Tikina atu te tahi ki a koe, fetch some for you; i. e., fetch some garment. Ko wai toku?—Who is mine?—i. e., my helper.

§ 9. The relative pronouns.—Following are some of the ways in which the defect of the relative pronoun is supplied in Maori:—(1) Te tangata nana nga kakano the man whose are the seeds; (2) te tangata i nga kakano, idem; (3) te tangata i patu nei i a Hone, the man (who) struck John; or (4) te tangata i patua ai (by whom, on account of whom), he was beaten; (5) Keihea, he poraka hei to i te rakau? Where is there a block (with which) to drag the log? (6) Keihea he haerenga? where is there a place on which (they, the cows) may run? (7) Ko tenei taku i mate nui ai, this is mine desired, i. e., this is what I wished for; (8) te poaka i patua e koe, the pig {133}(which) was killed by you; (9) kei reira te pakaru, kei reira te paru, you must coat (with raupo) all parts of the house that are broken.

It will be seen in the preceding examples that the most common means by which the want of the relative is supplied are by the preposition, as in example 2; (2) by the particles nei, &c., and ai, as in examples 3 and 4; (3) by the verbal noun, as in examples 5 and 6; (4) by the possessive case with ai, as in example 7; (5) by the passive voice, as in example 8. Occasionally, also, the personal pronouns, as in example 1, or the adverb reira, as in example 9, &c., are used for the same purpose.

§ 10. Demonstrative Pronouns.—(1) These, like the primitive pronouns of Hebrew, are often used for the verb of existence; (2) and the time will frequently be denoted by the pronoun used; i. e., Tenei will mostly be used for the present tense; tena, (and most frequently) tera, for the future, or past, and sometimes for the imperative mood; e. g., e haere ana tenei ahau, this I am going; i. e., I am going; tenei au, here I am; tera e mate, that will die, i. e., he will die; tena taku pu maua mai, that my gun bring here; i. e., bring my gun.

The leading distinctions between tenei, tena, and tera, and also the distinction between them and their resolved forms te—nei, &c., have been mentioned, page 30. Instances, however, are not rare, in which those distinctions seem to be disregarded; and others will occur which it will require some experience and ingenuity to classify; e. g., I te po nei implies that it has been already dark for some time; i tenei po may mean The night of this day. In the following, Kei hea te awa nei? (where is the channel that we are seeking for?) it is clear tenei could not be employed.

(2.) Sometimes only nei will be admitted into connexion with the first person; (i. e., when the speaker {134}is denoted as the person looking at the object spoken of;) and na into connexion with the second. Ra has for the most part a vague or general application.[37] Thus a person, calling to a settlement, will say, Kahore he tangata i te kainga nei? Is there no one at that settlement? (at which I am looking.) If addressing another who belongs to, or has seen, the settlement, he will say, i te kainga na, (or ra) at the settlement which you see there, or to which you belong, &c. Again. Keihea nga kau? where are the cows? Kei kona ano, They are there near you. If he had said, Kei ko, we should have understood him to mean, "They are off, away, in that direction;" na kona mai, come by that direct path, in which you are; na ko mai, come by that circuitous one away there.

(3.) Nei, &c., in composition will frequently supply the place of the relative; e. g., te taua i muru nei i a Hone.

(4.) Sometimes they will imply a conjunction, or will otherwise limit the sentence in which they occur, by implying a connection with a previous sentence or thing. Thus, kahore au i pai, means I am not willing; kahore nei ahau i pai will mean, the reason was because I was not willing; or, you know I was not, &c., &c. Again, I a koutou e tatari ana will denote a mere general remark, while you are waiting, I a koutou e tatari nei denotes while you are thus continuing to wait; te wahine i whakarerea, the woman who was divorced; te wahine i whakarerea nei, (or ra), the woman who was divorced under these (or those) particular circumstances, or, on that particular occasion, &c., &c.

The Interrogative Pronouns.Wai and aha are often used to add intensity; ma wai e noho, e au?{135}that I should remain is for whom? i. e., I won't remain. Ko wai hoki ka kite i te hoenga o tenei taua, maua nei? who saw the departure of this hostile party, we two? i. e., we did not at all see this party's departure to fight with you; hei aha ma wai? For what purpose is it, for whom? i. e., what good at all is that for? kahore i rongo, kahore i aha, he did not attend, he did not what; i. e., he did not at all listen; kahore aku kupu, me he aha, me he aha, I did not utter a word, if a what, if a what; i. e., I did not at all speak; ka hua ahau he aha, I thought it was a what; i. e., I imagined it was something very important you were going to talk about. Sometimes a personal pronoun will be associated with an interrogative; e. g., ko wai hoki taua ka kite atu? Who, we two, can see it? i. e., who knows?

[37]  For ra as an adverbial particle, vide page 92.



Of the Verbal Particles.—The consideration of the verbal particles, and of the other means by which a verb is modified in Maori, has been reserved for the Syntax; chiefly because the investigation of those subjects will involve also that of compound propositions, and of other constructions which belong to this part of Grammar.

E (a) is sometimes used for the present, e. g., e noho mai, he is sitting there close at hand. (b) Most frequently it is joined with nei, &c.; e. g., e riri nei, who is angry with me, &c. (c) It is sometimes used to denote the future; e. g., ko wai ma e haere? who will go? He tokomaha e mate, many will die. (d) It is chiefly employed to denote contingency, or some future act on which something else depends; e. g., E riri ia, if he be angry; E tae mai a Hone tonoa ake, If John comes here send him after me; E hau, if there be a wind.

Note.—(1.) In such constructions as the last, it will be found that the latter verb will generally, except when it is in the imperative mood, be in the second person. In the following sentence, for example, E muri ka puta mai nga kuri ka puhia, henceforward if dogs come here they will be shot, e is wrongly used; puhia being in the third person. To this rule, however, there are exceptions.

(2.) There is a difference between e and ka, as particles of the future; ka being of much more extensive use; i. e., being used {137}with all persons, and in all senses, whether absolute or contingent; vid. ka.

(3.) There are, however, some constructions in which e is always preferred; chiefly, we believe, when the verb is preceded by some word with which it is in connexion; i. e., when it is preceded by the negative adverb kore, and sometimes kahore; e. g., ka kore e pai, if he is not willing; kahore e tangi she did not at all cry,—by the preposition ma; e. g., ma wai e hanga? who is to build it?—and by no (sometimes), nohea e wera? Whence, i. e., why should it take fire?—by the pronouns tera and ehea; e. g., tera e mate, he will die perhaps, ko ehea e patua, which are to be killed?—by the noun or pronoun in the possessive case (sometimes); e. g., taku e pai ai that which I like, he aha tau e tohe? what are you importuning about?—by taihoa and taria; e. g., taihoa e haere wait going; i. e., don't go for a while.

N.B.—For the distinction between e and ka, when prefixed to numerals; vid., numerals, chap. 17, sec. 5.

(e.) For e as prefixed to the imperative mood, vid. page 40 (c). It is generally omitted in that mood, when the verb is followed by atu, mai, ake, iho, &c.

Ana is a particle corresponding, in many particulars, with ka. It is most frequently employed, however, in the continuation of a narrative, and does not often except in abrupt and animated discourse, occupy a place in the leading clause of the sentence.

The following examples illustrate this last remark. Ki te kahore e homai, ina haere ana ahau, ka riro. If it is not given, certainly going I will depart; ko nga tangata o Taranaki, aia ana e matou ki te maunga, the men of Taranaki, driven were they by us to the mountain. It will be seen that the verb preceding in the above clauses gives a larger measure of emphasis than if another word had gone before it. In such animated sentences, as the above, the speaker will generally prefer ana to any other verbal particle. But another leading use of ana is to denote a continuance of action. The following extract from a translation of the first eight chapters of Genesis, made some years since by the Church Missionaries, will serve as an illustration of this, and our other remarks on this {138}particle. We may add that, though we suggest a few trifling alterations in the part quoted, yet, considering the time in which it was made, it is very creditable to the Maori knowledge of the translators.

Ch. 1, v. i. I te orokomeatanga i hanga e te Atua te rangi me te whenua.

2. A kihai whai ahua te whenua, i takoto kau; a ngaro ana i te pouri te mata o te hohonu. Haerere ana te Wairua o te Atua ki runga ki te mata o nga wai.

3. Mea ana te Atua, Kia marama; a kua marama.

4. A kite ana te Atua i te marama, pai ana; wehea ana e te Atua te marama i te pouri.

5. A huaina ana e te Atua te marama, hei ao.

In the first verse ana can have no place, it would give an unpleasant jerk, as well as the appearance of levity, to a commencement so methodical and dignified. Our translators, therefore, with good taste, employed i; I te timatanga i hanga, &c. In the second verse, however, in the clause commencing a ngaro ana, &c., it is very correctly used; because there is a close connection between that clause and the one preceding. In the third verse it is, we think, injudiciously used, because a new subject is now commenced. We should, therefore, have preferred na ka mea te Atua. So also in the commencement of the fourth verse, A kite ana te Atua i te marama, pai ana. We should prefer, a ka kite, &c. Pai ana is, we think, objectionable. It is too abrupt, and unconnected, and makes the pai refer to the atua, rather than to marama. E pai ana, perhaps, or he mea pai, would be preferable. E—ana is strictly the sign of the present tense; e. g., e kai ana, he is eating. Sometimes when it follows a past time its meaning will also be past; as may be seen in our remarks on ana (vid. also page 38, and our remarks on compound times).

Ka is a particle of very extensive use. It is sometimes employed to denote the present tense; e. g., ka pai, it is good. It is the particle most frequently {139}used in historic presents (vid. John iv., 1, 3, and N. T. passim). It is very frequently used to denote future events, and is often employed in hypothetic, or contingent propositions; e. g., ka mate koe i a au; you will be killed by me, ka haere ahau ka riri a Hone, if I go, John will be angry.

Note.Ka, as a particle of the present, will often differ in meaning from e—ana. For example, ka tere te waka may signify the canoe will drift, or that it drifts; e tere ana, that it is drifting.

For the distinctions between ka and e vid. e. Occasionally ka is followed by te. Vid. two examples page 57.

I, a particle of the past time; vid. kua.

(a.) Sometimes, however, it is employed to denote the present; e. g., koia i riri ai, for that cause is he angry? na te aha koe i tohe ai kia haere, why do you persist in going? Ka tahi ano to hanganga i pai, this house (which I am now roofing) is now, for the first time, properly done.

(b.) Sometimes i is employed where contingency is designed; e. g., he aha koa i pono he titaha, he titaha; i pono he hate, he hate well, it won't signify. If an axe happens to be (my payment) let it so happen (lit. let it be an axe). If a shirt, &c.

Ka whiua to tahi wahi ki tahaki, hei whakahere i tona Atua. I whiua ranei ki te wahi tapu ranei; i whiua ranei ki te wahi noa ranei, he throws a portion to one side as an offering to his God. It may have been thrown (i. e., it matters not whether it is thrown) upon a sacred spot, or upon a spot not sacred.

Kua, the sign of the past tense; e. g., kua korero atu ahau ki a ia, I have spoken to him.

(a.) The leading distinction between kua and i is, we believe, that kua is unlimited (i. e., will not admit of limitation), and i limited in construction; and that the former, when it precedes in the sentence, will be {140}often found to correspond to the perfect, the latter to the imperfect of English; e. g., kua kitea te mea i kimihia e koe? has the thing been found that was sought for by you? Kua ora koe? Kahore, I ora ano au; a, hoki mai ana te mate; have you recovered? No, I did recover, but the sickness has returned.

N.B.—It would, however, be very incorrect to affirm, as have some good Maori scholars, that kua always corresponds to the perfect, and i to the imperfect.

In accordance with the preceding remarks, it may be observed, 1st, that kua is seldom used when the verb is preceded by the cause, time, or other qualifying circumstance of the action; i. e., when the verb is followed by ai. For example, we might say kua patua, he was killed; but we could not say, te take kua patua ai, the cause for which he was killed; neither would it be correct to say, koia kua riri ai ia, for that cause was he angry. 2dly. It will also, we believe, be found that, in secondary clauses, in which the relative is understood, i obtains a much more general use than kua. For example, in the following sentence,—"enei mea kua korerotia e koutou," we should prefer i korerotia. 3dly. Kua will seldom, when denoting the perfect or imperfect tenses, be found associated with the particle ko; e. g., we very seldom hear ko Hone kua haere, it was John who went. In the following sentence, we disapprove of the use of both of these particles:—e pai ana matou ki a ia, no te mea ko ia kua atawhai mai ki a matou, we love him, because he was kind to us. We should have preferred mona i atawhai, &c.[38] (4.) When a preposition {141}immediately precedes, kua will seldom be employed to denote the tenses; e. g., nonahea i mate ai; Since what time, or, at what time did he die? Nana ano i haere noa mai, he came of himself.

(5.) Kua is never used after the negative adverbs kahore, kihai, and kiano; e. g., kahore ahau i rongo, I have not heard; kiano i mate noa, he has not yet died.

(6.) The following, also, are constructions in which kua will be found to give place to i: Me koutou hoki i whakarere i to koutou kainga, as ye also left your country; me i kahore koe, if it had not been for you, &c.

In the following constructions, however, kua is prefixed: penei kua ora, in that case he would have lived; ano kua mate, as if he were dead; me te mea kua waruhia, as if it had been planed; Me i kahore koe kua mate au, if it had not been for you, I should have died. In the following, however, i is preferred: me i kahore koe i ora ai ahau, If it had not been for you, (the cause) why I was saved; i. e., I should have been lost, but for you.

(b.) Kua is sometimes employed where a present would be used in English; e. g., kua mate, he is dead; {142}kua po, it is dark, or, is past sunset; kua riro, he is gone.

(c.) In animated narrations of past events, kua is sometimes employed to give variety; e. g., te taenga atu o Hone, kua mau ki te hamanu, e tatua ana, te tino haerenga, so John goes, he has taken (his) cartouch box, (he) is girding it on; the instant marching.

(d.) Sometimes, also, when the speaker wishes to convey the idea of a certain, and speedy accomplishment, he will (as did the Hebrews) employ the past tense; e. g., E pa, he aha i kaiponuhia ai to waru? kua whakahokia mai apopo, Father why do you withhold your plane? It will surely be returned to you to-morrow; E hoa, reia atu; kua hoki mai koe, Friend, run (and tell them) you will be back (in quite time enough); e noho ana tenei; kua pata iho te ua, e rere ana ki rote ki te whare, we are sitting here, but, immediately as soon as it rains, we run into the house.

(e.) Kua is often prefixed to denote an action which is to take place, or has taken place previous to something else—in which latter use it will sometimes correspond to the pluperfect of English; e. g., I a koe kua riro, after you had gone. Mo te ara rawa ake kua maoa, that, exactly as he awakes, it may have been cooked; i. e., it may be cooked against he awakes. Me i noho kua wha na rakau e toia, if I had remained, four logs would have been dragged. Akuanei mau nga riwai kua kainga, presently, the potatoes that have been first eaten will be yours; i. e., your crop will be the soonest ripe. Huatu ko tena kua ngakia, no, but let that be first dug.

Vid. our remarks on ko, when associated with kua (note to a) (3).

Note.—The student will see, in the above examples, that kua, when employed in this sense, will often enter into combinations which would not be admitted under other tenses.

{143}KIA.—This particle has been already considered, as far as it is connected with the imperative mood (vid. page 40). There are, however, other uses of it, which are both varied and important.

(a.) It may, in asking a question, be used for the future; e. g., Kia haere ahau? Ne? Shall I go? shall I?

(b.) It may, also, be found where an hypothetic statement is made, or an expectation, or other reference to some future event, is implied—a use in which it will sometimes be found to correspond to the second future indicative and perfect potential of English; e. g., E noho ki konei; kia hoki mai ra ano ahau, stop here until I shall have returned; Kia titiro atu matou, ka patua to matou hoa, hei reira ka whakatika atu matou, let us have seen (i. e., if we had but seen) him strike our friend, we should then have risen; me noho kia ora, ka haere, you had better remain, and when you are well, depart; e hoe katoa ana ratou, kia oti te waka o Nini, they are all going when Nini's canoe is finished; I raro ahau e whakarongo mai ana, kia mate, kia mate; a ka ora noa ano, I was at the northward waiting for news from here of his death; but he has recovered.

(c.) Often, when intensity of negation, doubt, &c., is intended, it will be used instead of the proper particles of the present, past, and future; e. g., hore rawa kia tika, by no means is it correct; kahore kia kotahi, not even one; Ko au kia mate, ko ia kia ora? must I (by feeding this pig) starve, while he has food? Kahore ano kia haere noa! not yet gone!

(2.) It is often found, also, in exclamations of wonder; e. g., Kia nui! How large!

(3.) In the same sense, also, it is used where an infinitive would be employed in the learned languages; particularly where contempt, disregard, &c., are denoted; e. g., Kia whakarongo atu ahau ki o korero {144}hei aha? why should I listen to your talk? lit. that I should listen to your talk is for what? Kia ho atu taku poaka mo tena! that I should give my pig for that! i. e., I will not give it.

(d.) Kia is frequently employed to denote the infinitive; e. g., haere kia kite, go to see.

(e.) It will also be employed when the latter verb is an amplification of the meaning of a preceding one; e. g., ahea hanga ai tou whare, kia oti? When will your house be built, that it may be finished? Te tangata e whiuwhiu ana i ana tikaokao, kia wawe te mate! The man who is pelting his fowls that they may be soon dead! Tanutanu rawa kia ngaro, bury, bury deep, that it may be concealed; (a song.) Whiua, kia mamae, beat it that it may be pained; na koutou i aki mai kia tata, it was you who pressed forward so as to be near.

Note.—There is a distinction between kia and ki te, when prefixed to a verb in the infinitive, which should be noticed. Kia is very seldom prefixed to a verb in the active voice,—ki te almost always; e. g., Haere ki te to i te waka. We could not say kia to.

(2.) Kia is almost always prefixed to the passive verb; ki te very seldom; e. g., Tikina atu kia tirohia is fetch it to be seen. Tikina atu ki te titiro is fetch him to look at it. The following sentence is erroneous:—arahina ki te patu, led to be killed. It should be kia patua, or e arahina e patua ana.

Sometimes, before neuter verbs, either kia or ki te will be employed; e. g., I mea ahau kia, (or ki te) haere.

Kia will most frequently be used when the former of the two verbs is in the passive voice. Verbs following adjectives, by which ability, habit, &c., are denoted, will take ki te; e. g., uaua ki te mahi, strong to work; e kino ki te tahae, is displeased at thieving.

Between the uses of kia and ki te there may be often a very material difference; e. g., e riri ana ki te{145}ata noho means that he is angry at the stopping quiet,—i. e., that he wishes for war; e riri ana kia ata noho, means that he is repressing (them) that they may stop quiet; ka tohe ki a maua kia waru i te kai i te ra tapu, they pressed us to scrape food on the Sunday. If it had been, Ka tohe ki te waru, &c., the speaker would have implied that they (the persons toheing) persisted in scraping, &c.

Some foreigners seem remarkably careless in the use of this particle. We subjoin a few instances in which it has been omitted, or introduced erroneously. Ko tana hanga kia korero, his custom was to speak, &c.; it should be, he korero. E kore ahau e ahei kia mea atu; it should be, ahei te mea atu. Ko te aroha e whakahauhau ana i te tangata hei mahi; it should be, ki te mahi. Whakatika hei patu; it should be, whakatika ki te patu, or whakatika atu, patua.

It may be here observed that (1) some verbs have a partiality for certain particles; e. g., hua noa ahau, or, ka hua ahau, I thought; e kore e ahei te patu. (2.) Some verbs very rarely take any verbal particle into connexion with them. Of this sort are heoi, or heoti, kati, taihoa, penei (in that case), and, sometimes, rokohanga, or rokohina.

(3.) Many constructions will be met with in which the verbal particle is omitted. (a.) A common adverb of quantity or quality following the verb will often cause the verbal particle to be dispensed with. (b.) It is also omitted in constructions like the following:—meake haere; whano mate; kei te ata haere ai; taihoa maua haere atu; &c. (c.) In animated discourse, the common verb will sometimes be used without any kind of auxiliary; e. g., kaiponu noa ia, kaiponu noa, tangohia e au. Withhold it, withhold it as he might, yet I took it away.

AI.—The Aborigines sometimes appear to vary in their use of this particle; some introducing it into {146}sentences in which others would omit it. These instances, however, may, we believe, be reduced to one class:—viz., to that in which ai is used in connexion with kia.

When kia is prefixed to a verb which is merely an explanation, or some other enlargement of the meaning of a preceding one, it will seldom take ai after it; as may be seen in our examples of kia, (rules d and e). But when the intention, cause, &c., are to be specifically denoted, then ai will be used. Thus, in the following sentence, haere kia kite, go to see, kite is a plainly natural effect of haere, and ai, therefore, is omitted. If, however, some unusual act is to be done that he might see, then ai, most probably, would be employed; thus, e piki ki runga ki te rakau kia kite ai koe, climb up the tree that you may see. The distinction is the same as that between the two following in English:—go and see; climb that you may see. Again, in the last example of kia (rule e), na koutou i aki mai kia tata, "nearness" is a natural effect of "pressing forward," even though they had no specific intention of being near: ai, therefore, is not used. If, however, the speaker wished to say ye pressed forward that I might be angry, he would employ ai; kia riri ai ahau; because here we have two acts, not necessarily connected, and one specifically performed to produce the other.

The following are a few out of the many instances that might be adduced of the erroneous introduction, and erroneous omission, of this particle:—e kore koe e pohehe me ratou, kia roa ai taku korerotanga, you are not ignorant (as they are), that I should be long explaining it to you; it should be, e roa ai. As it stands it means, you will not make yourself "pohehe," in order that, &c. Aua e whakaara ake i tetahi rakau kia tu ai, erect not any stick that it may stand; it should be rakau, tu ai. Kihai i {147}tonoa kia uia ai matou, he was not sent to question us; it should be, ki te ui i a matou. Ko nga mutunga o ia waiata, o ia waiata, kia whakahuatia ai tenei waiata, at the end of each song let this chant be repeated. As this stands, its meaning is, in order that this chant may be repeated; it should be, kia whakahuatia tenei, &c., or ka whakahua ai. Ka puta te kupu o Hone kia haere atu ai ratou, when John speaks, let them proceed; it should be, me haere, &c., or ka haere. A wrong use of this particle may often seriously misrepresent the meaning of the speaker. For example, if we were to say, e inoi ana ahau kia murua ai oku hara, we should mean, I pray that (in consideration of my prayer) my sins may be forgiven. Prayer, here, is made the immediate and effective means by which this end is obtained. If a Native were to say, "E inoi ana ahau kia homai ai tetahi paraikete," absurd as would be the remark, it would mean that the blanket is to be given to him, not as a favor, or as due on other grounds, but simply as a reward for his asking. The Bible tells us of another consideration, by which pardon is obtained, and prayer answered; and, therefore, in such passages as the above, we must carefully abstain from ai. Koia nga tamariki a Hone i haere tahi me ratou; it should be, i haere tahi ai. E kore ia e poka ke i tana i mea; it should be, i mea ai; te tangata i he ai, the man who had committed the offence. In Waikato this will mean, the man through whom they had erred; it should have been, te tangata nona te he.

(a.) Whaka.—The leading property of this particle is causative; e. g., tu is to stand, whakatu is to cause to stand (vid. etiam, page 50, under pai, kau, and kakahu, and Syntax of Numbers, under Ordinals).

Note.—In this use of it, adjectives, and neuter verbs, will be converted into active verbs; e. g., toe, to be left; whakatoe, to put by, as a leaving; e. g., whakatoea etahi ma mea ma, put by some for our friends.

{148}In the following example, the adjective is made improperly to retain the form of a neuter verb, he mea whakapirau i te hau, a thing blasted by the wind. Its meaning, as its stands, is, a thing that destroys the wind.

Considerable variety may sometimes be found in the nature of the causation implied by this prefix. Thus, puru, to cork (a bottle, &c.). Whakapurua nga pounamu, to stow, or pack (with straw, &c., between) them. Waha, to carry on the back; whakawaha, to take up the load on the back; e. g., waiho atu e au e whakawaha ana, as I came away they were loading themselves with their burdens.

(b.) Sometimes it will imply the becoming, or the being like to, or the feigning, or exhibiting the root to which it is prefixed. Frequently, also, it will indicate an origin or propriety in the root; e. g., Kei te whakariwai a Hone i roto i te rua, John is making himself potatoes, i. e., (is occupying the place of) in the rua (or potatoe house); ka po, ka whakaahi; ka awatea, ka whakakapua, at night it became a fire, by day it became a cloud; kia whakatangata, to act like a man; ka riro, ka whaka-Hone ki te wai, he will be off, and become like John in the water; i. e., will be drowned as John was; he kupu whaka-te-Kanaua, a speech made by Kanaua; i. e., any promise, &c., made by him; he tangata whaka-Ngapuhi, a person belonging to, or that frequently visits Ngapuhi; he aha kei to tatou hoa? Kahore pea. E whakamatemate noa iho ana, kia kiia e mate ana, What is the matter with our friend? Nothing at all. He is feigning sickness, that he may be regarded as unwell.

(c.) Sometimes it will denote reciprocity; e. g., ko ratou whakaratou hoki, he is one of themselves! (d.) Sometimes it will denote an action either inceptive or gradually declining; e. g., e whakatutuki ana te tai, the tide is beginning to get full; e whakahemohemo ana, he is sinking; i. e., is on the point of death. (e.) Sometimes it will denote towards; vide page 71. (f.) Occasionally it will indicate some {149}action corresponding to the sense of the root; e. g., ka whaka-ahiahi ratou, they act at sunset; i. e., they wait for sunset to make their assault.

The other auxiliaries of the verb.—These, it has been already observed, are adverbs, prepositions, pronouns, and the articles he and te, placed in connection with the verb. We proceed to make a few remarks upon them, and some other forms which the Maori verb occasionally assumes:—

On the adverbs as auxiliaries.—These chiefly are the adverbs of intensity and negation; we may add, also, the particles atu, mai, ake, iho.

The adverbs of intensity, as well as the last mentioned particles, will frequently lose their distinctive force, and either in some way modify the meaning; i. e., denote rapidity and certainty of effect, succession or connection of events, &c., or be redundant. The following examples will, it is hoped, sufficiently illustrate their use:—te whakaarahanga ake o te ra, tahuri tonu iho, the putting up of the sail forthwith was it upset; akuanei, ahiahi noa, ka tata ta maua te oti, presently by sunset ours will be near being finished; mo te ara rawa ake o nga tamariki kua maoa, that exactly as the children awake it may have been cooked; i. e., it may be cooked before they awake; kahore, ha, he kainga; kainga[39] rawa atu ki Waitoke, oh, there is no settlement (in the interval); the nearest settlement is Waitoke; tia rawa ki te raukura, pani rawa ki te kokowai, he braided his hair with feathers, and besmeared himself with red ochre; te tino haerenga, so on they started.

N.B.—Between noa ake and noa atu a distinction will sometimes be found not unlike that which obtains between the perfect and imperfect of English. Noa ake will generally convey an {150}allusion to some date, either present or past; noa atu will most frequently refer to the past, without any such allusion; e. g., kua mate, noa ake, he has been dead this some time; kua mate noa atu, he died a long time ago; kua maoa, noa ake te kai, the food has been this long time cooked; kua maoa noa atu, it was cooked a long time ago; kua mate noa ake i reira, he had been dead then some time; kua mate noa atu i reira, he had been dead a long time previous to that date.

For further illustrations of the adverbs as auxiliaries the student is referred to chapter 9, pages 78, 79, &c. For the negative adverbs, as employed with the verb, vid. next chapter.

Of the Prepositions.—The use of these as auxiliaries is to supply the place of the verb substantive when no verb is expressed in the sentence; e. g., naku tenei, this is mine; kei hea? where is it? I a au i runga, when I was at the Southward. The tenses they denote, and those also which they admit after them, have been mentioned, chapter 8. Other notices respecting them will be found in the next chapter. For the pronouns as auxiliaries, vid. page 35.[40]

Verbs which assume the form of a noun.—It has been already observed that Maori inclines to the substantive form; and that such is only natural will be obvious to anyone who will reflect that it is more {151}easy for an unpolished mind to conceive of things as existences, than to trace them through the various modifications of act denoted in a verb. In many instances, indeed, a New Zealander is compelled to adopt this form, in consequence of the Maori verb not supplying any satisfactory form for the infinitive mood, and the participles. That these two parts of speech strongly partake of the nature of a noun is well known; and we may therefore be prepared to find the forms for denoting them in Maori exhibit a mixed character; i. e., to be a kind of compound of the verb and the noun. It may be added, also, that, as in some Latin authors, the infinitive mood is often used for the finite verb;[41] so also, in Maori, will the verbal noun, especially when a brief and animated mode of diction is desired, be found very frequently to occupy the place of the verb.

The following examples illustrate the various modes in which the Maori verb adopts the substantive form.

The student will observe that even passive verbs will submit to the same operation, and receive the sign of the substantive, (viz. the article) before them; e. g., Tenei au te tu atu nei, here am I the standing towards (you); he kainga hou te rapua nei, a new country is the being sought, i. e., is what we are seeking for; ko koe te korerotia nei, it is you who are the being talked about; he noho aha tau? what are you sitting for? kua oti te keri, it is finished, the being dug; ka tata ahau te patua e koe, I am near, the being beaten by you; he mohio koe? are you a knowing? i. e., do you know anything about it?

The following are examples of the verbal noun as used for the finite verb:—me he mea ko te mahuetanga {152}o to matou waka, if it had been the leaving of our canoe, i. e., if our canoe had been left to us; kei riri mai ia ki te kai; te taunga iho—ko ia, ko tana waka, lest he (the God) be angry at the food (not having been given)—the alighting (upon him, the priest), &c., i. e., and should then alight upon him, &c.; haere atu ana a Rona ki te kawe wai, Ka pouri. Te kanganga ki te marama. Te tino tikinga iho nei, ka tae ki a Rona, Rona (the man in the moon) goes to fetch water. It is dark. The cursing at the moon. The instant coming down to him, &c., i. e., he cursed at the moon, and she in anger came down to him.

Note.—More examples of this very animated mode of narration might be easily adduced. The student will find several others scattered throughout this work. We may observe, also, that the very frequent use of this form by the natives constitutes one remarkable feature by which the language, as spoken by him, differs from that spoken by the foreigner.

As a further illustration of the way in which predication in Maori is sometimes performed by the substantive, the following forms may be mentioned:—he mea whakamaori no te reo pakeha, a thing translated from the foreigner's tongue, i. e., it was translated from, &c. Na Hone tenei, he mea ho atu na Pita,—this is John's, it was presented to him by Pita: lit. it was a thing presented, &c. Akuanei, he noho atu te otinga, presently a remaining away will be the end, i. e., (we shall find that) he will remain away.

It should be also noted that the following verbs always take the substantive form after them, viz., hohoro, oti, hei, and ahei, pau, taea, tau, timata, heoi ano, kati, poto; e. g., timata te mahi, commence to work; kati te tahae, stop thieving, &c.

Note.—These verbs, it would appear, deserve most justly the appellation of "auxiliaries," 1st, as they are real verbs; and 2ndly, as by their help we can approximate to many forms of the {153}verb in other languages. For example, kua oti te tiki, mai, has been fetched hence; e kore e ahei te korero, cannot divulge.

The use of the verbal noun, it would appear, is very prevalent in Oriental languages (vid. Lee Heb. Gram., second edition, p.p. 75 and 76, and Carey's Gram. of the Burman, also Humboldt on the Chinese, as there quoted.) The following form, however, will often be found in Maori to supersede it.

A noun, or pronoun, in the oblique case, will, frequently, in Maori, take the finite verb after it;[42] e. g., e whakapono ana ahau ki a ia i mate i a Ponotio Pirato.

The expression "ki tana hekenga atu ki te reinga" is precisely the same as "ki a ia i heke atu ki, &c." Again, Noku i haere mai nei, since I arrived here: lit., from or of me (I mean) came here; ko te rua tenei o nga wiki o Hone, i hoki ai, this is the second week since John returned: lit., this is the second week of John (I mean) returned; i a ia e ngaro ana, whilst he is hid; mo ratou kahore i rongo, because they would not obey: lit., for them (I mean) their not having obeyed.

Often, also, a noun, which, in English, would be in the nominative, will, in Maori, be converted into the possessive; the verb following as in the preceding rule; e. g., naku i patu, I struck: lit., it was mine (I mean) the having struck it; maku e korero, I will speak: lit., it will be for me (I mean) the speaking.

It was most probably, through ignorance of this, and the preceding rule, that some good Maori speakers adopted the following very unsatisfactory analysis of the two examples first adduced:—"Naku i patu," they would translate, it was struck by {154}me; "maku e korero," it shall be spoken by me; and they thus explain them: Na and ma mean by; and patu and korero, though active in form, are passive in meaning. To this theory, however, there are strong objections. (1.) It cannot be shewn, except by examples derived from this class, that na and ma ever signify by; these words all must admit are the active form of no and mo—the prepositions which denote the possessive case. (2.) It will altogether fail in those instances in which other prepositions, besides na and ma are found. In the following, for example:—"i a au e noho ana i reira," whilst I was sitting there; nona i tango, because he took it, it will be seen that it is as difficult to determine the nominatives of "noho" and "tango" as it was to determine those of patu and korero in the other examples. Those who attend to the genius of the language (vid. preliminary remarks, pages 102 and 103, and Syntax of Nouns, sec. 3, page 114) will, we think, find but little difficulty in the question. They will see that there are no participles, adverbs, or relative pronouns, in Maori, and that, therefore, we must not be surprised at a construction which, though loose, is admirably adapted to supply the defect. That Maori has a peculiar love for the possessive form in predication, especially when a relative pronoun is understood, may be seen in the following examples[43]:—ko Tiaki anake ta matou i kite, Tiaki was the only person that we saw: lit., Tiaki was our only one (actively) (I mean) saw; ka tohe ki tana i pai ai, he holds out for what he desired: lit., he holds out for his (I mean) desired; he mate toku, I am sick: lit., a sickness is mine; ka tika tau, you are right: lit., yours is right; koe would not be here used; ko taku noho tenei, a, po noa, I will sit here till night: lit., this is my sitting until night.

The leading meaning of na, and ma, and their corresponding passives no, and mo, seems to be, of the one class, present, or past, of the other future possession. And most of the examples given in p.p. 63-67, of their various uses might be reduced to those heads. Thus, "no te mane i haere mai ai," means, literally, it was of the Monday, (I mean,) having come. "No reira i riri," it was of that cause {155}(I mean,) the having been angry; mo a mua haere ai, let it be for a future period, (I mean,) the going, &c.

Compound tenses.[44]—A compound tense is one whose time and quality are modified by some other time or circumstance with which it is connected.

Thus in the examples in page 38 me i reira ahau e pai ana, eana, which taken absolutely, is present, now represents the pluperfect potential; because it has a reference to i reira, a past time, and to me, a particle denoting contingency. Again, in the example, "akuanei tae rawa atu kua mate; kua, taken absolutely, refers to past time; but, here, it is taken relatively, and refers to a future; i. e. to the time in which I may arrive; the sentence meaning, literally, "presently, exactly as I shall have arrived, he is dead." The expression shall have been dead, in English, all will see, is a compound tense of a similar character, for it is {156}compounded of a future, and a past tense, and thus represents a second future.

We proceed to lay before the student some examples of the most important combinations of time and mood. To exhibit all that are possible would extend our work beyond its prescribed limits. Some remarks on this subject have been already made in treating on the verbal particles.


Present.Ka taka ki hea, e haere mai ana? they have reached what place as they come along?

Imperfect tense.Rokahanga atu e au, i reira e noho ana, when I arrived he was sitting there: lit., he is sitting, &c. I mua e pai ana, formerly I liked (it): lit., I like, &c. E pai ana i mua—id. I pai ano i mua—id. Na reira i kore ai ahau e pai, that was the cause why I did not assent: lit., thence was I not, (I mean) am pleased. I ki hoki ia, a kua oti; i mea atu ia, a, tu tonu iho, he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast. Heoi ahau me tenei tamaiti, ka haere mai; I was the size of this child when I came here.

I hea koe i mua, ka kimi? where were you before that you did not look for it?

Nei hoki, kua ora, haere ana ki Taranaki, but he recovered, and went to Taranaki; kua mea atu ra hoki; e ki mai ana, why I said so, he replies, i. e., replied.

Perfect tense.Ka wha nga wiki e ngaro ana, (or ka ngaro nei;) it has been lost these last four weeks: lit., these are four weeks it is lost.

I konei te kuri e kai ana, mei te huruhuru, a dog has been eating a fowl here, as we may judge from the feathers. Noku ka mate, since I have been poorly.

Pluperfect tense.Kihai i hinga ka waiho e korua, it had not fallen when you left it, lit., it did not fall, you leave it. I a koe kua riro, after you had gone, {157}(vid. our remarks on kua, page 153 for other examples.)

First future tense.Ma Ngatiwhatua e takitaki to maua mate, ka ea, Ngatiwhatua will avenge our murder, (and) a satisfaction will be obtained.

Akuanei, rangona rawatia mai, e hoko ana ano koe, presently, I shall hear that you are still purchasing: lit., presently, exactly as it has been heard, you are, &c.

Kua mate ahau, e ora ana ano nga rakau nei, these trees will live longer than I: lit., I died, these trees are still alive.

Second future tense.—Vid. pag. 37.


Present and imperfect.—(For examples of these vid. on e page 136, on ka 138, and on ai 146), ko ahau kia mate, ko ia kia ora; vid. on kia (§. c. 1,) also our remarks on ahei, taea, &c., as auxiliaries.

Pluperfect.Kua riro au, na te mate o taku kotiro i noho ai, I would have gone; but I remained in consequence of the sickness of my daughter: lit., I departed, my daughter's sickness was the cause of my having remained; e noho ana, na Hone i ngare, he would have stopped, but John sent him: lit., he is remaining, John sent him; E murua a Hone, naku i ora ai, John would have been plundered, but I saved him; me i kahore ahau kua mate, if it had not been for me, he would have died; kua hemo ke ahau, me i kaua ahau te whakapono, I should have fainted if I had not believed; penei kua ora, in that case he would have been saved; ka hua ahau, i haere ai, e rongo; I thought that they would have listened (which) was the cause of (my) having gone; maku i runga e kore e marere, when I am at the Southward (it) is never granted; ma raua e rere e kore e hohoro a Raiana, when they both run, Lion does not make haste; me i maku e keri, keihea? {158}if it had not been for me to dig it where (should I have been now)? i. e., I should have dug to a vast distance.[45]

The following combinations of times are incorrect: i te mea i arahina nga Hurai, while the Jews were being led; it should be e arahina ana. I kite hoki ratou i a ia, a, i rere, for they saw him and fled; it should be, a, rere ana. To ratou taenga atu ki te pa, i reira ano mahara ana ratou ki a ia, and when they had reached the pa, they then recognised him; it should be na, ka mahara, &c. Ma Hone e whakaki o koutou peke, pera hoki me o matou, John will fill your bags as full as ours; it should be, kia penei me o matou. It may be here noted that when two tenses are connected together, not in the way of government, but are rather in apposition with each other, the latter will generally be the same as, or at least correspond to, the former; e. g., the following constructions are erroneous:—Korerotia atu, mea ana, speak, saying; it should be, meatia. A ki atu ana a Hone, ka mea; it should be, mea ana. Ka tahi ahau i kite, now for the first time have I seen; it should be ka kite.

Note.—Sometimes, however, we meet with exceptions to this rule: (1) when there is a clear case for the operation of epanorthosis; (2) when the particles a or na intervene.

The character of the sentence will sometimes be found to affect the time of the verb; as, for example, in animated narration, where a large measure of certainty, or when contingency is to be denoted, &c.; e. g., Kihai i u ki uta, kua tae ki te whare, kua totoro ki te maripi, ki te paoka, E kai ana, he had not landed, before he had reached the house, had stretched out {159}(his hand) to the knife and fork, (he) is eating, i. e., immediately as soon as he landed he began to eat; E pa ma, kia kaha, Kahore kua u, My friends be strong, (in pulling the oar), O no, we have landed, i. e., we are close to shore. A request or command, given to be conveyed to another, will often be put into the imperative, just as if the individual, to whom the request, &c., is to be delivered, were really present; e. g., Mea atu ki a Hone, Taihoa e haere, say to John, Don't go for a while. E kite koe i a te Keha, Haere mai, if you see Keha (say to him), Come here.

Note.—This form is generally adopted when the speaker wishes to be animated and abrupt. Sometimes, as in the first example, it is the only form admissible.

Verbs associated to qualify each other.—It should here also be noted that when two verbs are associated together, the latter of which is modified in meaning by the former, in a way somewhat similar to that in which the infinitive in Latin is modified by its governing verb, the two verbs will, generally, be in the same tense and voice; e. g., Kua haere, kua koroheke hoki, he has begun to get old, lit., he is gone, he is old; kei anga koe, kei korero, don't you go and say, &c.; e aratakina ana, e patua ana, it is led to be killed.

Repetition of Verbs.—The same verb will frequently be repeated in Maori when contingency, intensity, distribution, diversity, &c., are intended, and, particularly, when the speaker desires to be impressive and emphatic; e. g., Ko te mea i tupono i tupono: ko te mea i kahore i kahore, (the karakia Maori) is all a work of chance: sometimes there is a successful hit, sometimes a failure, lit., that which hit the mark hit it, that which did not did not; e pakaru ana, e pakaru ana ki tana mahi (it does not much signify) if it breaks, it is broken in his service; okioki, okioki atu ki a i a, trust, trust in him, i. e., place your whole trust in, &c.; haere ka haere, kai ka kai, in all his goings, {160}in all his eatings, i. e., whenever he walks, or eats, (he retains the same practice); heoi ano ra, heoi ano, that is all about it, that is all about it; hapai ana, hapai ana, raise both ends at the same time; i. e., while you raise, I raise.

Note.—A similar usage obtains in other parts of the language; e. g., ko wai, ko wai te haere? who, who is to go? ko tera tera, that is another, or a different one; he kanohi he kanohi, face to face; ko Roka ano Roka, ko ahau ano ahau? are Roka (my wife) and I different persons? lit., Is Roka Roka, and (am) I I?

Sometimes the former verb will assume the form of the verbal noun; e. g., te haerenga i haere ai, the going with which he went, i. e., so on he proceeded; na, ko te tino riringa i riri ai, so he was very angry.

Note.—The learned student need not be reminded of the remarkable parallel which Maori finds to the four last rules in Hebrew. From this cause it will be sometimes found that an exactly literal translation will be more idiomatic than another. Thus Gen. 1, 7, "dying thou shalt die" could not be rendered more idiomatic than if it be done literally: "na, ko te matenga e mate ai koe."

Of the Passive Verbs.—It has been already observed (p.p. 49, 56) that passive verbs are often used in Maori in a somewhat more extended sense than is met with in most languages. It may naturally, therefore, be expected that their use should be more frequent than that of active verbs: and such we believe to be the case,—Maori seeming to incline peculiarly to the passive mode or form of statement, especially in the secondary clauses of a sentence. Independently of other uses which they subserve, (such as often supplying a more animated style of narration, being sometimes the more convenient—as being the more loose or general—mode in which to advance a sentiment, &c.), there are two of considerable importance which may be here noticed. 1st. They are most frequently employed when the relative pronoun is understood, and are generally {161}equivalent to the active verb with ai or nei, &c., after it; e. g., nga mahi i wakahaua e ia, the works which were ordered by him. The active form here, without ai after it, would be seldom used. Vid. also, the examples p.p. 49, 51. 2ndly. They sometimes supply the place of a preposition; e. g., he aha te mea e omakia nei? what is the matter about which it is being run? Te tangata i korerotia nei, the man about whom we were talking. The following sentence, ka korero ahau ki te whakapakoko, literally means, I will talk to the image; it should have been, ka korerotia te whakapakoko. This usage, however, does not extend to all the prepositions; and, when some of them are understood, the verb will require ai after it. The following sentence, for example, is erroneous: te tangata e kainga ana te poaka,the man by whom the pig is eaten; it should be e kai ana, or e kai nei, or e kainga ai.

Constructions will not unfrequently be found in which the active form usurps the place of the passive, and vice versa; e. g., Ko tena kua hohoro te horoi, let that be first washed; kua tahu te kai o te kainga nei, the food of the settlement has been kindled, i. e., the oven is kindled for cooking; Kei te uta to matou waka, our canoe is loading; Ko tehea te patu? which is to be killed? ko tera kua panga noa ake, that has been much longer on the fire: lit., has been thrown; taria e kawhaki te poti, let not the boat be taken away (by you) for a while; he mea tiki, a thing fetched; kua oti te keri, it is finished, the being dug; me wero e koe, it must be (or, let it be) stabbed by you; ka timata tena whenua, te tua, that land has commenced (I mean) the being felled; kei reira, a Hone e tanu ana, there John (lies) buried; Ka te arai taku ahi e koe, my fire is being stopped up by you, i. e., you are intercepting the communication, &c.; kia rua nga waka e hoe mai e koe, let there be {162}two canoes that will be paddled here by you. The following form is not frequent:—kei te atawhaitia, it the (pig) is being taken care of; kei te takina te kai, the food is being taken off (the fire). When ambiguity might arise from the object of the action being considered as the agent, the passive form is almost always used; e. g., ka poto nga tangata o reira te kitea, when all the men of that place have been seen; ka tata tena tangata te nehua, that man is near being buried.

Neuter Verbs which assume the passive form.—Some neuter verbs assume the passive form (1) without any material alteration of meaning; e. g., ka hokia he huanga, if it is come backwards and forwards to you, it is because I am a relation.[46] (2.) Most frequently, however, they derive a transitive meaning from the change. Thus, in the example already adduced, page 50, horihori, to tell falsehoods; te mea i horihoria e koe he tangata, the thing which you erroneously said was a man. Again,—Tangi, to cry: te tupapaku e tangihia nei, the corpse which is being cried, i. e., which is the subject of the crying; he tangata haurangi, a mad person; te tangata i haurangitia nei, a person for whom another is bewildered.

[38]  It is true that when kua represents the pluperfect, or the priority of one action to another, it may be frequently found in connexion with ko. But this, we think, is a further confirmation of the distinction for which we contend. For the expression "he had loved us" is clearly more definite than "he loved us,"—the former implying that that affection had been entertained before some past act,—the latter simply affirming that it was entertained, without reference to any date. Ko we defined, page 106, as the article of specification and emphasis, and it is quite natural that it should be associated with a perfect to denote a pluperfect,—its office, in such a construction, being to point out the individual who may be emphatically said to have performed the act—whose was the act which was antecedent, or past. The sentence "ko ia kua atawhai," means he is the person who was first kind. This emphatic use of the word ko has been already illustrated under the head of comparison, adjectives; the sentence "ko tenei te nui o nga rakau" meaning this is the large one of the trees; i. e., this is the one of which we may (emphatically) say, It is large. So, also, in the following,—"akuanei ko Hone kua tae," the meaning is presently, it will be John who (emphatically) has got there; i. e., John will have got there first.

[39]  The student will see in this, and the other examples, that the noun, as is very usual in Maori, assumes the form of a verb. To translate literally such verbs into English is often impossible.

[40]  Following is a connected view of some of the principal means by which the defect of the substantive verb is supplied or implied, in Maori: he kuri tenei this is a dog. Tenei a Hone, This is John. Tika rawa, it is very correct. Ki te whai hau i te po nei, if there be wind in the night, &c. Ki te wa hau, &c., idem. Ka ai au hei kianga mai mau, I am for an ordering for you, i. e., You find in me one that will obey, &c. Waiho, and sometimes meinga, are often used instead of ai. E ai ki tana, it is according to his, i. e., as he affirms.

The following form is worthy of notice, Rokohanga rawatanga atu e ahau, ko Raiana! on my reaching (that place) there was Lion; rokohanga atu, ko te tahi tangata o Taupo i Maungatautari e noho ana, when I got (there) there was a man of, &c. Taku hoenga ki roto ko te waka o Hone, as I was paddling up the river, lo, there was the canoe of John, &c. Some foreigners, we observe, use tera taua for this form. We have never heard anything like it in Waikato. Hei te and ki te (vid. page 62) will often, also, seem to lose their distinctive meaning in that of the verb substantive; e. g., hei te pera me tou, let it be like yours.

[41]  It will also be recollected that the gerunds and participles will, in that language, often subserve the same office. Thus we have, ante domandum, before they are tamed; urit videndo, he burns when he looks; cum Epicurus voluptate metiens summum bonum, whereas Epicurus who measures the chief good by pleasure.

[42]  This is an exception to what we find in English, and other languages, the finite verb in them being very seldom found after an oblique case; i. e., after any case beside the nominative, unless the relative, or the personal pronoun with some conjunction, intervene. We may observe, also, that the verbal particles will be often prefixed to other words beside the verb; e. g., e kore koe e pai kia mau e hanga? Are you not willing that you should do it? kia mou ai te kainga, that the land should be yours.

[43]  That the English language had once a similar tendency might, we think, be shewn by many examples. Thus we hear, "have pity on me," "have her forth," "I have remembrance of thee in my prayer." Many of our tenses, also, are formed by this auxiliary; e. g., "I have seen," "he had gone," "I would have loved, &c." The frequent use, also, of this form in the Greek may be seen in Donnegan's Greek Lexicon, under "echo," to hold.

[44]  As the English language supplies but few illustrations of this mode of construction, we will here lay before the student some extracts from Professor Lee's Hebrew Grammar, as well to shew how much this usage obtains in Oriental languages, as to enable him to enter more readily into the subject. Professor L. says, page 328, "any writer commencing his narrative, will necessarily speak of past, present, or future events with reference to the period in which his statement is made." This, he says, is the "absolute use of the tense." Again, "A person may speak of those events with reference to some other period, or event, already introduced into the context. This is the relative use—Hence, a preterite connected with another preterite will be equivalent to our pluperfect; a present following a preterite to our imperfect, and so on." Again, page 330, "They, the Arabians, consider the present tense as of two kinds; one they term the real present, which is what our grammarians always understand by the present tense. The other they term the present as to the narration; by which they mean the time contemporary with any event, and which may therefore be considered as present with it, although past, present, or future with regard to the real or absolute present tense." In page 334 is a good illustration from the Persian: "last night I go to the house of a friend, and there see a delightful assembly, and enjoy a most pleasing spectacle." The student will see in the above example that go, see, and enjoy, are relative presents, being presents to last night, the time in which the speaker, in his imagination, now places himself. This mode of construction abounds in the O. and N. T., vid., for example, Mark xiv., he saw Levi and says to him. Says, here, is present to saw, though past to the time of the narration.

[45]Note.—The student is recommended to notice the various forms contained in the preceding table, and to endeavour to add to them from his own observation. It would also be most useful to throw into one form all the various examples of simple and compound times that he will find in pages 37, 41, to 44, as well also as those contained in the preceding part of this chapter.

[46]  The passive verbs wheterongia, titahangia, &c., to which we allude, page 39, note, may, we think, on reflection, be most correctly reduced to this head.



These have been considered at large in chapters 8, 9, 10, 11, and require now but little notice. We proceed to consider the prepositions which follow the verbs, and to offer a few other remarks respecting them.

Verbal postfixes.—An active verb will (as was observed page 60) take i after it, to denote the object of the action. Sometimes, however, ki will be found to supply its place; e. g., mohio ki a ia, matau ki a ia, wehi ki a ia, whakaaro ki tena mea, karanga ki a ia, kua mau ki te pu, seized his gun. Whiwhi ki te toki, obtain an axe, &c.

Between these two prepositions, however, as verbal postfixes, there is often a very important difference; e. g., na ka whakatiki ahau i a ia ki te kai, so I deprived him of food, i. e., I withheld food from him; na te aha koe i kaiponu ai i to paraikete ki a au? why did you withhold your blanket from me? he pakeha hei whakawhiwhi i a matou ki te kakahu, an European to make us possess clothes; ki te hoko atu i taku poaka ki te tahi paraikete moku, to sell my pig for a blanket for myself. Europeans generally {164}employ mo, but erroneously. Sometimes other prepositions will occupy the place of i; ka haere ahau ki te whangai i taku kete riwai ma taku poaka, I will go feed my basket of potatoes for my pig, i. e., I will feed my pigs with my basket of potatoes; hei patu moku, to strike me with,—a form similar to hei patu i a au.

Note.—Verbal nouns will take the same case as their roots. Occasionally no sign of case will follow the active verb, (1) when the verb is preceded by such auxiliaries as taea, pau, taihoa, &c., e. g., e kore e taea e ahau te hopu tena poaka, it cannot be accomplished by me (I mean) the catching that pig; or, e kore e taea tena poaka e au, te hopu. (2.) When the verb is preceded by the particle me, or by the prepositions na and ma; e. g., me hopu te poaka e koe, the pig must be caught by you; naku i hopu tena, the having caught that (pig) was mine. To this rule, exceptions are sometimes heard.

Neuter Verbs will sometimes take an accusative case of the noun proper to their own signification; e. g., e karakia ana i tana karakia, he is praying his prayers; e kakahu ana i ona, he is garmenting his clothes; i. e., is putting them on.

Note.—Considerable variation will be found in the prepositions which follow such verbs as heoi, ka tahi, &c.; e. g., heoi ano te koti pai nou, the only good coat is yours; ka tahi ano te koti pai, nou, idem; manawa te tangata korero teka, he pakeha (Taranaki), a European is the greatest person for telling falsehoods; ka tahi ano taku tangata kino, ko koe (or ki a koe, or kei a koe); ka tahi ano tenei huarahi ka takahia ki a koe, you are the first person who has trodden this path; if it had been e koe, the meaning would have been you now for the first time walk this road; often, also, the preposition will be omitted, and the noun put into the nominative; e. g., noho rawa atu he whenua ke, settled in a foreign land; ka whakamoea atu he tangata ke, given in marriage to another man; te huihuinga mai o Mokau, o whea, o whea, ko te Wherowhero, the musterings of Mokau, &c., &c., are to Wherowhero, i. e., Wherowhero is the grand object of interest.

Between i and ki when following neuter verbs, or adjectives, there is often a considerable difference; e. g., mate ki, desirous of; mate i, killed by; kaha i {165}te kino, stronger than sin, i. e., overcoming it; kaha ki te kino, strong in sinning; ngakau kore ki tana kupu, disinclined to, &c.; ngakau kore i, discouraged by.

Foreigners often err in the use of these, and other prepositions; e. g., i a ia ki reira, while he was there; it should be, i reira. E aha ana ia ki reira? What is he doing there? it should be i reira. Kati ki kona; it should be i kona. E mea ana ahau kia kai i te Onewhero, I am thinking of taking a meal at Onewhero; it should be, ki te Onewhero. Hei a wai ranei te pono? hei a Maihi ranei, hei a Pita ranei? with whom is the truth? with Marsh or with Peter? it should be, I a wai, &c. He aha te tikanga o taua kupu nei kei a Matiu? what is the meaning of that expression in Matthew? it should be i a Matiu. Again,—kahore he mea no te kainga nei hei kai, there is nothing in this settlement for food; it should be, o te kainga nei. Enei kupu no te pukapuka, these words of the book; it should be, o te pukapuka. Ko nga mea katoa no waho, all the things outside; it should be o waho. He kahore urupa o Kawhia i kawea mai ai ki konei? Was there no grave in Kawhia that you brought him here? it should be, no Kawhia. Again,—he mea tiki i toku whare, a thing fetched from my house. The meaning of this, as it stands, is "a thing to fetch my house;" it should be, no toku whare, as in the following proverb: "he toka hapai mai no nga whenua." In constructions like these, the agent will take either e or na before it, but most frequently the latter. In some tribes to the Southward of Waikato, the following form is in common use:—he pakeke ou, yours are hardnesses, i. e., you are a hard person; he makariri oku i te anu, I have colds from the cold (air). The singular forms tou and toku are mostly {166}used in Waikato, or the preposition no; e. g., he pakeke nou, and makariri noku, or toku.

Prepositions are sometimes used where a foreigner would expect a verbal particle; e. g., Kei te takoto a Hone, John is lying down; i te mate ahau, I was poorly; No te tarai ahau i tena wahi, I have been hoeing that place. This form belongs chiefly to Ngapuhi. Ka tae te pakeke o te oneone nei! kahore i te kohatu! How hard this soil is! it is not at a stone, i. e., it is like a stone. Kahore ahau i te kite, I don't see. This last form is used chiefly in the districts Southward of Waikato.

Adverbs.—Most of the adverbs will (as was observed, page 85) assume the form of the word with which they are connected; e. g., rapu marie, rapua marietia, rapunga marietanga, &c. In some districts, however, they will assume the form of the verbal noun, after the passive voice; e. g., rapua marietanga. Instances will, also, occasionally be found in all parts of the island in which they undergo no change; e. g., whiua pena, throw it in that direction. Whiua penatia is, throw it in that manner.

Negative Adverbs.—Most of these will, when in connexion with the verb, take a verbal particle before, or after, them; e. g., hore rawa kia pai; kahore i pai, or (sometimes), kahore e pai; kihai i[47] pai; e kore e pai; aua e haere, kiano i haere noa, e hara i a au, it is not mine, or, it is different from me (i. e., it was not I), &c.

Kihai i and kahore i are most frequently used indifferently one for the other. An experienced {167}speaker will, however, we think, sometimes notice points of difference, and particularly that kihai i is most frequently employed when reference is made to an act previous to a past act, and kahore i when some allusion is made to the present time. Thus, in the following sentence, nau i kai nga kai kihai nei i tika kia kainga e te mea noa, we should prefer kahore nei i to denote which was not, and is not, lawful to be eaten by a person not tapu. In Waikato, haunga with kahore sometimes governs a genitive case; e. g., Kahore haunga o tena. Kahore, when it takes a possessive case after it, will require it to be in the plural number; e. g., Kahore aku moni, I have no money, lit., there is a negativeness of my monies. So also the particle u, vid. page 93.

In answering a question, the answer will always be regulated by the way in which the question is put, e. g., Kahore i pai? ae; Was he not willing? Yes; i. e., Yes, he was not willing. If the answer was intended to be affirmative, the speaker would have said "I pai ano."

[47]  Some foreigners, we observe, omit the i after kihai, when it immediately follows it. That this error, however, arises from the I being blended into the ai of kihai in the pronunciation is clear from its being distinctly heard when a word intervenes to prevent elision, as in the following example:—kihai ahau i pai.



The author cannot conclude without returning many acknowledgments to those kind friends who have encouraged and assisted him in the prosecution of this work. The following favorable notices from some of their communications are here submitted to the reader's inspection.

"For the purpose of advancing towards a more correct and idiomatic knowledge of the Maori, I have found, and do daily find, its assistance quite invaluable. Your exertions to supply a deficiency which was keenly felt by every student of the Maori tongue cannot fail to be highly appreciated, both here and at home."—W. Martin, Esq., Chief Justice of New Zealand.

"It is the only work that has ever been published that is calculated to give a sound and critical knowledge of Maori. I have constant reference to it in the publication of the Maori Gazette, and at all times find it an invaluable assistant."—George Clarke, Esq., Aboriginal Protector.

"To allow you to suffer loss by the publication of your valuable grammar, would be to suffer our justice to be called in question."—Rev. A. N. Brown, sen., Church Missionary of the Southern District.

"I wish you could afford to carry on your work to another part, and take in prosody, the native waiatas, proverbs, &c.; but I must not dictate. You have done well, and your work deserves the praise and encouragement of every one who feels an interest in the natives and their language."—Rev. J. Whiteley, sen. Wesleyan Missionary of the Southern District.

"I think you deserve great credit for your performance, and am sure that when the language is more known you will hear it. May I thank you to set my name down as a subscriber for twenty copies of the whole work."—Rev. O. Hadfield, Senior Church Missionary of the Port Nicholson District.


Transcriber's Note (continued):

Page 9, "Matou & Tatau" changed to "Matou & Matau" and "Ratou & Tatau" to "Ratou & Ratau".

Page 15, "kĭa" changed to "kiă"; footnote 5, "oho" changed to "oha".

Page 19, "ko'iro" changed to "kotiro".

Page 24, "K" changed to "Ka".

Page 32, "taegata" changed to "tangata".

Page 53, "?kore" transcribed as "Pakore".

Page 54 footnote 13, "a?ero" transcribed as "arero".

Page 61, "mal" changed to "mai".

Page 64, "nohea" changed to "no hea".

Page 109, "i?" transcribed as "ia".

Page 113, "Wherowhoro" changed to "Wherowhero".

Page 118, "is" changed to "ia" (twice).